The Malian army on Thursday found the bodies of 13 of its soldiers missing after Monday’s attack in Tabankort, near the Nigerian border, bringing to 43 the record of this operation attributed to jihadists, did it? Thursday we learned of Malian security sources.
The bodies of the 13 members of the Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) who had « not answered present » were « found by a patrol of the Malian army, » said the source. The balance sheet so far was 30 soldiers killed.
Six of them were located in their vehicles in Tabankort (Menaka region) and seven near the locality of Infokaritane, according to the same source.
They had been discovered by local people who had « hesitated to approach them for fear of retaliation of terrorists (jihadists in the vocabulary of the Malian army), » she added.
« Thirteen new bodies of Malian soldiers killed near the Nigerian border were discovered that day. They are on their way to Gao « , the big city in northern Mali where 30 of their comrades were buried on Tuesday, confirmed to AFP an official of Gao Gendarmerie.
Malian and Nigerian forces were conducting a joint operation Monday against the jihadists when a patrol was attacked in this border area, according to the Malian army.
A hundred « suspects » captured
The attackers had themselves lost 17 men, killed in the fighting, and a hundred « suspects » were captured and were in the hands of Nigerian forces, said Monday the Malian army on social networks.
Monday’s attack is another blow for the Malian army after the death of a hundred soldiers in two jihadist attacks in a month this fall in the same border of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
It is also a further illustration of the continuing deterioration of security that alarms the international community in this region and more widely in the Sahel.
It came as the French army announced the death or capture of some 30 jihadists in November, during a large joint operation with Burkinabe, Malian and Nigerian forces on the borders of Burkina Faso and Mali and during another operation of the only French commandos in eastern Mali on Saturday. A French soldier was seriously injured in operation on Saturday, she said.
Since their appearance in northern Mali in 2012, jihadist violence has spread to the center of the country and to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger, despite the presence of the French (Barkhane) regional forces (G5 Sahel joint force including Mali , Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania and Chad) or the UN (Minusma