Mali: 24 soldiers and 17 jihadists killed in fighting
A new attack attributed to jihadists killed 24 Malian soldiers on Monday in eastern Mali, the Malian army said, even as France announced heavy losses inflicted on these jihadists in November.
The « terrorists » (the jihadists in the vocabulary of the Malian army) have themselves lost 17 men, killed in the fighting on Monday, and a hundred « suspects » were captured, said the Malian army on Wednesday. social networks.
Earlier, 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 a another operation of the only French commandos in eastern Mali on Saturday. A French soldier was seriously injured in operation on Saturday, she said.
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.
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).
Some doubt the effectiveness of the national armies and these foreign forces in the face of this spread.
On the same day, the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe called from Senegal, border of Mali, to leave « no chance, no catch » to the jihadists of the Sahel.
Mauritanian and Senegalese presidents Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani and Macky Sall have called for an enhanced mandate for fighting forces in the Sahel at the same international security forum near Dakar.
The idea of a single command?
Between the Malian and foreign forces, « not less than 30,000 men (are) on land that is held hostage by a band of individuals. There is a problem. Why we are not able to solve this problem? « Asked the Senegalese president, whose country participates in the Minusma. He envisioned the placement of foreign forces under a single command.
Malian and Nigerian forces conducted a joint operation Monday against the jihadists when a patrol was attacked in Tabankort, said the Malian army.
Malian forces « deplore 24 dead, 29 wounded and material damage. On the enemy side there are 17 terrorists killed, a hundred suspects apprehended, « she said.
The prisoners are in the hands of the Nigerian forces, she said. In a previous statement, the Malian army said it received the support of the French anti-jihadist force Barkhane in the counter-offensive against the jihadists.
The version of the facts delivered by the Malian army can hardly be cross-checked. The areas in question are almost inaccessible without serious exposure. Tabankort is an area known for drug trafficking. The violence in Mali is also multifaceted, fueled by numerous trafficking.
Earlier, the French general staff reported that 24 jihadists had been killed or captured during the operation called Bourgou 4 and involving local armies and the Barkhane force for two weeks in November on the borders of Burkina Faso and Mali.
On Saturday morning, Barkhane commandos supported by Tiger helicopters « knocked out five terrorists » during the attack on a camp in the Indelimane region, « in the development zone of the Islamic State of the Great Sahara (EIGS), « said the staff in another statement.
« One of the commandos was seriously wounded » and evacuated, then repatriated, said the statement without further details on his injuries.