A « terrorist attack » against a military camp in Indelimane, near the border between Niger and Mali, killed 54 people including 53 soldiers and a civilian.
The Malian army suffered on Friday one of its biggest losses in several years with the death of 53 soldiers and a civilian in a « terrorist attack » against a military camp in Indelimane, near the border with Niger.
« Following the attack on the position of the Fama (the Malian armed forces) in Indelimane, the rushed reinforcements have found 54 bodies including a civilian », or 53 soldiers killed, announced the Minister of Communication, Yaya Sangaré, Friday night on Twitter.
Sangaré also reported « ten survivors » and « significant material damage » in Indelimane, Ansongo locality, in the Menaka sector (north-east). With the attack on Friday, the Malian army suffers one of its heaviest losses for several years.
« Raking »
Forty soldiers were killed in two jihadist attacks September 30 in Boulkessy and October 1 Mondoro, localities located in the south of the country, near Burkina Faso, according to a report of a head of the Ministry of Defense. Several sources estimate that this official record of 40 deaths has been undervalued.
The attack at Indelimane had not been claimed Friday evening. The circumstances of this new military setback have also not been specified. « The situation is under control. Raking and the process of identifying the bodies are continuing, « added Minister Sangaré.
The Malian government, meanwhile, announced on Friday night that it « condemned » this « terrorist attack that left many people dead and injured and material damage on the part of the National Defense and Security Forces, » according to a previous statement. which does not give an accurate assessment.
Secure the area
« Reinforcements were sent to secure the area and hunt down the attackers, » the government added, without giving any details on the latter. Malian soldiers were also reported missing on Friday, a military source told AFP.
Northern Mali had fallen in March-April 2012 under the guise of jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda, thanks to the defeat of the army in the face of the Tuareg-dominated rebellion, first allied to these groups, which then ousted him.
The jihadists were largely driven out or dispersed following the launch in January 2013, at the initiative of France, of a military intervention, which continues.
However, jihadist violence not only persisted, but spread from north to central Mali, then to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger, often intermingling with inter-communal conflicts that left hundreds dead.