Mali government: At least 54 killed in militant attack on army post

In this 2018 file photo, Malian troops move toward a town that came under attack by extremists. Another attack on a military outpost in the northeast of the country left 35 soldiers dead. (AP file photo)
Updated 02 November 2019

Mali government: At least 54 killed in militant attack on army post

  • The attack came a month after two jihadist assaults killed 40 soldiers near the border with Burkina Faso
  • No group immediately claimed responsibility for Friday’s assault

BAMAKO: At least 53 soldiers and one civilian were killed in a militant attack on a military post in northern Mali on Friday, the government said.

The attack is one of the deadliest strikes against the West African country’s military in recent memory. It is still reeling from jihadist raids in late September that underscored the increasing reach and sophistication of armed groups operating in the region.

“The dispatched reinforcements found 54 bodies including one civilian, 10 survivors, and found considerable material damage. The situation is under control,” government spokesman Yaya Sangare said on Twitter in the early hours of Saturday.

The authorities first reported the attack by armed men on the army post in Indelimane, Menaka region, on Friday, but gave a lower provisional death toll.

From their stronghold in Mali, groups with Al-Qaeda and Daesh links have been able to fan out across the Sahel, destabilizing parts of Niger and Burkina Faso.

Thirty-eight Malian soldiers were killed on Sept. 30 in coordinated attacks on two army bases in central Mali, which has slipped from government control despite the presence of the French army and other international forces.


India begins examination of plane’s black box after deadly crash

Updated 38 min 16 sec ago

India begins examination of plane’s black box after deadly crash

  • Air India Express plane overshot runway of the Calicut International Airport in heavy rain
  • Company to pay compensation to the families of the deceased

NEW DELHI: Indian investigators on Sunday began examining the black box of a Boeing-737 that overshot a runway on its second attempt, killing 18 people in the country’s worst aviation accident in a decade.
The Air India Express plane, which was repatriating Indians stranded in Dubai due to the coronavirus pandemic, overshot the runway of the Calicut International Airport in heavy rain near the southern city of Kozhikode on Friday.
The aircraft fell into a valley and broke in half.
In an interview with Reuters partner ANI on Sunday, Anil Kumar, head of India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation, said the country would open the recovered transcripts to international investigators, as well as manufacturer Boeing.
“Only after conducting a thorough and unbiased probe, can we tell what exactly happened,” Kumar said.
The 2,700-meter runway at the airport is known as a “table-top,” an aviation term for runways with steep drops at one or both ends.
They leave little room for error should a pilot overshoot the runway, either through human error or mechanical failure.
Late on Saturday, Kumar told CNN-News18 in an interview that the pilot made an aborted landing attempt into a headwind and then made a second approach with a tail wind, landing 1,000 meters down the runway.
An air traffic control official familiar with the crash confirmed this version of events, adding it is unusual to attempt a landing at the airport with a tailwind, which is typically used for takeoffs.
“The length of the runway in Calicut is around 2,700 meters and the plane touched the ground after crossing 1,000 meters of the length, leaving less room to bring the aircraft to a halt,” the official, who declined to be named as he is not authorized to speak to the media, said.
“It was windy and rainy and the runway surface was wet. In such instances the weather is dynamic.”
“An aircraft typically lands and departs in a headwind as a tailwind increases the plane’s speed.”
A spokesman for Air India did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company has already said it will pay compensation to the families of the deceased.