Mali: Nation’s Largest Military Base Attacked By Insurgents

Mali’s military government said it repelled an attack on Friday against the country’s main military base outside the capital, Bamako.

The Kati military base is also home to the country’s interim president, Assimi Goita, who came to power after two successive military coups in 2020 and 2021.

The military said the attackers set off two car bombs. People living near the camp reported hearing heavy gunfire.

“The situation is under control, and a sweep is underway to find the perpetrators and their accomplices,” the Malian military said in a statement, adding that two assailants had been killed.

The military described the event as a “terrorist attack.” The authorities typically refer to Islamist insurgents in the country as terrorists.

Mali battling an insurgency

Militants linked to al-Qaeda and the so-called “Islamic State” have repeatedly attacked army bases across Mali, but never so close to Bamako.

Friday’s assault comes a day after a coordinated series of insurgent attacks on Thursday.

In one of those incidents, extremists attacked a police base in Kolokani, 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Bamako, killing two Malian soldiers.

Mali’s military government orders restrictions on UN peacekeepers

On Wednesday, Malian authorities ordered Olivier Salgado, the spokesman of the United Nations peacekeeping mission MINUSMA, to leave the country within 72 hours.

The move comes after Mali’s military government ordered the temporary suspension of troop rotations by MINUSMA.

MINUSMA, or the United Nations’ Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, was created in 2013 to help the West African nation cope with a bloody jihadi campaign.

Extremist rebels were forced from power in Mali’s northern cities with the help of a French-led military operation, but they have since regrouped in the desert and begun attacking the Malian army and its allies.

lo/wd (AP, Reuters)

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