23 soldiers killed in Mali army camp attack by armed jihadists

     
March 18, 2019
BAMAKO: Armed men attacked an army camp killing 23 soldiers on Sunday in central Mali. Al-Qaida-related jihadist groups are the usual suspects in such attacks. Mousa, a former colonel, who joined the Qaida, is believed to be behind the attack. He had deserted the army in 2012.

In October last, three Malian soldiers were killed in a restive central region overnight when their vehicle hit a landmine.

Mali has been plagued by violence since 2012, when Tuareg separatists staged an uprising in the north and advanced towards the capital, Bamako, which was then exploited by jihadists to take over key cities in the region.

The militants were driven out in a French-led military operation in 2013. Despite a 2015 peace agreement between the Government, pro- government groups and former rebels, large areas of Mali still remain out of control.

Early last year an attempted suicide bombing and mortar fire left at least six UN peacekeepers wounded in northern Mali.

Over a dozen of Timbuktu's holy shrines, built in the 15th and 16th centuries when the city was revered as a centre of Islamic learning, were razed by jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda in 2012.

The United Nations has 13,000 troops and police in Mali, many of whom are deployed in the country's lawless north.

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