Mali – Islamist Militants Kill Dozens in Attack On Boat, Base

At least 49 civilains and 15 soldiers were killed in two separate attacks by suspected jihadists in Mali.

At least 64 people were killed in Mali on Thursday in two attacks on an army base and a passenger ship on the Niger River.

The two separate attacks by suspected jihadists targeted the river ship near Timbuktu and a military base in Bamba in the northern Gao region, officials said. According to preliminary information, “49 civilians and 15 soldiers were killed.”

According to the government, the attacks have been claimed by the extremist Islamist insurgent group JNIM, an umbrella coalition of armed groups aligned with al-Qaida.

The Malian government’s statement said its forces killed about 50 attackers in response to the attacks.

What is known about attacks?

Earlier the Malian army said on social media that the ship was attacked near Timbuktu by “armed terrorist groups.” The vessel was targeted by “at least three rockets” which aimed at its engines, the operator Comanav said separately.

Timbuktu has been blockaded by armed groups since late August, when the Malian army sent reinforcements to the region. The insurgents are preventing the desert city from being supplied with basic goods.

The deadly attacks come as the UN prepares to withdraw its 17,000-strong peacekeeping mission MINUSMA from Mali at the government’s request. The pullout is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

(AP, AFP, Reuters)

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