The temporary toll left one Malian soldier dead and six wounded, including a civilian. Seven murderersneutralizedand eight were arrested. This is the first terrorist attack targeting the strategic base of Kati.
The Malian army said Friday, July 22 that it rejected an attack “terroristJihadists have blamed suicide bombings that killed at least one soldier at the gates of the capital Bamako, in the garrison town of Kati, the heart of the military establishment and home to the head of the ruling junta.
“The Malian armed forces recently foiled another desperate attempt by terrorists in Katiba Macina“, affiliated with the jihadist group al-Qaeda, “who, early this morning, around 05:00 (local and GMT) attempted kamikaze actions with two car bombs filled with explosives against the installation of the direction of material, hydrocarbons and transport of the armies.“, said the General Staff of the Malian armies in a press release.
Very poor security situation
The temporary loss of this attack is that one Malian soldier was killed and six were wounded, including a civilian, and 7 attackers.neutralized“, 8 were arrested and a lot of material was recovered, continued the press release. Earlier, several residents told AFP in a “OFFENSIVESdirected to Kati’s base. “We were woken up by gunshots at 5am and the sound of explosions“said a resident on condition of anonymity.
“The situation is under control and the search is on to flush out the culprits and their accomplices“, the army confirmed in the morning on its Facebook page. The helicopters that flew over the military base after the attack and the residents returned to their work in the city, said an AFP reporter at noon. The strategic base of Kati, located only fifteen kilometers from Bamako, has never been directly targeted by a jihadist attack.
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The current military authorities took power by force on August 18, 2020 in Kati, before “to come downin Bamako. It is also in Kati – where Colonel Assimi Goïta, president of the transition and his powerful Minister of Defense, Colonel Sadio Camara – live that the personalities arrested during the coups are systematically maintained. Despite a very low security situation, the junta has turned away from France and its partners, preferring to rely on Russia to try to prevent the spread of jihadism that has spread to a large part of the country as well in Burkina Faso and neighboring Niger.
This attack happened a day after a series of almost simultaneous attacks attributed to jihadists in six different localities in Mali, in the regions of Koulikoro (near Bamako) as well as Ségou and Mopti (center). On Thursday morning, at the same time as the shooting on Friday, armed men identified by the army as members of Katiba Macina attacked checkpoints, gendarmerie, military camps, especially in the locality of Kolokani, one hundred kilometers north of Bamako.
This is the first time since 2012 that such coordinated attacks have taken place so close to the capital in the middle of the rainy season. But the frequency of attacks targeting the regions of southern Mali, which were previously spared, has increased in recent months. Mali, a poor and landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel, has been caught in a spiral of multifaceted violence for ten years.
Before holding a conflict with separatist rebel groups, which have since signed a peace agreement in 2015, the country is facing many armed groups affiliated with the global jihadist nebulae. The main coalition is the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM, JNIM in Arabic), which is affiliated with al-Qaeda and is led by Iyad Ag Ghali. GSIM, whose influence on the ground continues to expand, includes several groups including the Katiba Macina and is mainly in Mali and Burkina Faso.
There are also jihadists affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) organization, who have settled in the so-called three-border area between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger as well as the border between Mali and Niger. Added to the relentless violence is a tense political situation between the junta and its Western and regional partners, with repeated diplomatic hiccups.
With France, first, which pushed Mali towards the exit at the beginning of 2022 after nine years of military presence in the country, through Operation Serval then Barkhane. Then with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which for six months brutally sanctioned Mali for not respecting its commitments, especially on the sensitive question of the return of civilians to power.
The economic and financial sanctions were finally lifted in early July after the presentation of an electoral timetable that fixed the next presidential election in February 2024. The ECOWAS mediator, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, is currently in Bamako. where he is due to meet the leader of the junta.
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