Mali: 19 people killed in two successive ambushes

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Nearly twenty people were killed in a series of attacks in Mali on Tuesday, an extremely heavy daily toll and the worst in the country since the military coup of August 18.

Last Thursday, four hostages – the leader of the opposition, Soumaïla Cissé, the French Sophie Pétronin and two Italians – were released against some 200 detainees claimed by the jihadist groups; the exchange, in which France ensures that it did not take part, obviously did not cause a lull on the ground: twelve civilians and eleven soldiers were killed.

At around 1 am, a military post in Sokoura, in the strategic circle of Bankass, near the Burkinabé border, “was attacked by unidentified armed individuals” according to the Ministry of Defense. Nine Malian soldiers were killed.

Thirteen attackers were shot dead

A reinforcement dispatched to the scene “in turn fell into an ambush at the level of the bridge in the town of Paroukou”, according to the ministry. There, two other soldiers lost their lives. In the exchange of fire, thirteen attackers were shot down and two of their vehicles destroyed by military aviation.

Twelve civilians, showmen on their way to the weekly Bankas fair, were killed at the same location in still unclear circumstances. According to a police source interviewed by AFP, the showmen “followed the reinforcement of the army”, believing themselves to be protected, and were then targeted by attackers. But according to a state representative in the region, speaking on condition of anonymity, the vehicle carrying the civilians “was in first position”, in front of the military reinforcements, whose arrival “coincided” with the attack.

Among the twelve civilians were two women and a child. The army also reported ten injured and missing in the second attack.

“All these reports are provisional,” had to underline the army. Asymmetrical attacks on the military have killed 175 people in six months, according to the latest quarterly reports from the UN.

Attacks multiply

“The enemy is known and defeating him is possible,” Transitional President Bah Ndaw said on Friday, referring to jihadist groups. “If we do not immediately win this war, which I know is long drawn out, we must win reassuring victories,” he added at the opening of the first Council of Ministers of the transitional government.

The transitional president and his vice-president, the head of the junta, Colonel Assimi Goïta, were sworn in on September 25. Two days later, Moctar Ouane, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, a career diplomat was responsible for forming the transitional government, announced on October 5.

Last week, at least five residents of a village in central Mali, Farabougou, in the Niono sector, were killed by suspected jihadists besieging their locality. This violence followed the kidnapping on October 6 at the weekly fair in the village of twenty people, nine of whom have since been detained.


Original article by : www.leparisien.fr

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