Al-Qaida-linked insurgents kill 49 civilians, 15 soldiers in Mali | Mint
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Business News/ News / Al-Qaida-linked insurgents kill 49 civilians, 15 soldiers in Mali
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Al-Qaida-linked insurgents kill 49 civilians, 15 soldiers in Mali

Al-Qaida linked insurgents carried out two attacks in northern Mali, killing 49 civilians and 15 government soldiers.

Al-Qaida-linked insurgents in Mali kill 49 civilians and 15 soldiers in separate attacks. (AP)Premium
Al-Qaida-linked insurgents in Mali kill 49 civilians and 15 soldiers in separate attacks. (AP)

Mali witnessed two separate attacks on September 8, orchestrated by al-Qaida-linked insurgents in the conflict-ridden north of  the country. These assaults claimed the lives of 49 civilians and 15 government soldiers, as confirmed by Mali's military junta, AP reported.

The attacks were directed at a passenger boat on the Niger River near the city of Timbuktu and a Malian military position downstream in the Gao region. The military junta conveyed this information via a statement read on state television, revealing that these attacks were claimed by JNIM, a coalition of armed groups affiliated with al-Qaida.

Malian government reported that around 50 assailants were killed in response to the attacks. To pay respects to the civilians and soldiers who lost their lives in these attacks, the government declared three days of national mourning beginning from Friday.

According to a United Nations report from the previous month, Al-Qaida affiliated and Islamic State-linked groups have nearly doubled the territory they control in Mali in less than a year. They are capitalising on a fragile government and the actions of armed groups that signed a peace agreement in 2015.

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The stalled implementation of this peace deal and the continuous attacks on communities have provided an opportunity for these groups to recreate the situation of 2012. During that year, a military coup occurred in Mali, followed by the establishment of an Islamic state in the north two months later. Although a French-led military operation later ousted the extremist rebels from power in the northern regions, they relocated to more densely populated central Mali in 2015 and have remained active since.

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Timbuktu has been under siege by armed groups since late August, hindering the supply of essential goods to the desert city. As a result, over 30,000 residents have fled Timbuktu and nearby region, according to a UN humanitarian agency report from August.

These incidents unfold against the backdrop of the impending withdrawal of the United Nations' peacekeeping mission, MINUSMA, from Mali. This decision was made at the request of the Malian government and is scheduled to be completed by year-end. MINUSMA was deployed in 2013 and has become the world's most dangerous UN mission, with over 300 personnel losing their lives.

(With inputs from AP)

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Published: 08 Sep 2023, 10:13 AM IST
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