Malian fores ‘kill 11 extremists’ in clashes following ambush

The attacks highlighted the fragile security situation in the West African nation as it prepares to hold elections on July 29. (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 23 July 2018
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Malian fores ‘kill 11 extremists’ in clashes following ambush

  • A army patrol was ambushed by “terrorists” on Sunday morning in a forest in the central region of Segou
  • The patrol suffered “one dead and one wounded. On the enemy side, we counted 11 dead”

BAMAKO: Malian troops killed 11 extremists who had ambushed them in the center of the country, in clashes that also left one soldier dead, the defense ministry said.
Armed Tuareg groups supporting the government also reported assailants executed more than 20 people on Friday in a village in the northeast.
The attacks highlighted the fragile security situation in the West African nation as it prepares to hold elections on July 29, in which President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is seeking a second term.
A army patrol was ambushed by “terrorists” on Sunday morning in a forest in the central region of Segou, the ministry said in a statement.
The patrol suffered “one dead and one wounded. On the enemy side, we counted 11 dead.”
In a separate incident on Friday, “armed men” attacked the village of Tindinbawen, near the border with Niger, according to a joint statement from the Imghad and Allies Tuareg Self-Defense Force (Gatia) and the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA).
The two mainly Tuareg groups support the French and Malian forces.
The “attackers proceeded to summarily execute more than 20 people including elderly people and at the same time some members of the security post of the coalition,” the statement said.
Mali’s unrest stems from a 2012 ethnic Touareg separatist uprising, which was exploited by extremists in order to take over key cities in the north.
The extremists were largely driven out in a French-led military operation launched in January 2013.
But large stretches of the country remain outside of the control of the foreign and Malian forces, which are frequent targets of attacks, despite a peace accord signed with Tuareg leaders in 2015 aimed at isolating the extremists.
The violence has also spilled over into both Burkina Faso and Niger.


Blasts heard in Maiduguri, northeast of Nigeria, before polls open

Updated 23 February 2019
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Blasts heard in Maiduguri, northeast of Nigeria, before polls open

  • The city is the birthplace of Boko Haram Islamists
  • Boko Haram has warned it will disrupt the elections

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria: A series of explosions was heard in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Saturday, shortly before the opening of polls in presidential and parliamentary elections.

Multiple blasts were heard at about 6A.M. (0500 GMT), locals said. There was no immediate indication of the cause.

But the city is the birthplace of Boko Haram Islamists and has been repeatedly attacked during their nearly 10-year insurgency that has devastated the remote region.

Polls open at 0700 GMT, with President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general who has vowed to defeat the jihadists, seeking a second term.

Boko Haram has warned it will disrupt the elections.

One resident in the Gomari neighborhood of Maiduguri said: “I heard several explosions coming from the Bulumkutu area this morning but it’s unclear what is happening.

“There have been suspicions that it was an attack by Boko Haram but we don’t know yet.”

He added: “Late yesterday (Friday), some gunmen went into the house of a man in Gomari and shot him dead. We still don’t know the motive.”

Two other residents gave a similar account.

The early morning explosions in Maiduguri come after a Boko Haram attack late on Friday on Zabarmari village, some 10 kilometers outside Maiduguri.

The attack forced residents to flee into the city.