Extremists kill 25 in raids on central Mali army camps
Government says army retakes Boulikessi after gun battle, killing at least 15 terrorists
Groups linked to Al Qaeda attacked two army bases in central Mali, killing at least 25 people with 60 missing, the government said on Tuesday.
Assailants rode into the community of Boulikessi with heavy weaponry early on Monday to attack a Malian battalion of the regional G5 Sahel Force, Gen Oumarou Namatou Gazama said.
Gen Gazama, from Niger, blamed “the terrorist group” Ansarul Islam.
Mali’s government said that after a gun battle the army retook Boulikessi, killing at least 15 extremists and destroying five of their vehicles.
It said a joint force with soldiers from Burkina Faso was pursuing the extremists behind the attacks.
The attack on the camp caused “heavy equipment losses and major damage”, Malian government spokesman Yaya Sangare said.
About the same time, armed men attacked another army camp in Mondoro, where a resident said two civilians were among the casualties.
Meanwhile, nearly 30 people have been killed in Burkina Faso’s Bam province the past two weeks, including 17 over the weekend, said the provincial high commissioner, Ambrose Ouedraogo.
The violence in the municipalities of Zimtenga and Bourzanga has displaced nearly 19,000 people in the past three days, Mr Ouedraogo said.
Extremists have gained a larger foothold in Burkina Faso’s north in the past few years, staging more attacks near its borders with Mali and Niger. Hundreds have been killed.
Updated: October 2, 2019 05:10 AM