Al-Qaeda and Daesh/ISIS affiliate claim responsibility for attacks in Mali
A group affiliated with the al-Qaeda and Daesh/ISIS terrorist organizations claimed responsibility for two recent separate attacks in Mali on Saturday, allegedly in response to Mali’s collaboration with mercenaries from the Russian Wagner Group.
A terrorist attack on a military base near Bamako, the capital of Mali, left one soldier dead on Friday.
Seven terrorists were killed as Malian forces “vigorously pushed back” the attackers.
The attack on the Kati military barracks, about fifteen kilometers from Bamako, began early in the morning with two vehicles packed with explosives, the army said.
Six people were injured in the assault while eight others were arrested.
The government blamed the attack on Katiba Macina, a group affiliated with al-Qaeda and Daesh/ISIS terrorist organizations.
Friday’s attack came a day after coordinated assaults on military bases in central Mali left one soldier dead and 15 injured.
In separate statements on Saturday, the so-called media unit of al-Qaeda and the local Daesh/ISIS affiliate, Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM), acknowledged the government’s claim that Katiba Macina had carried out both attacks.
A Malian fighter had “detonated a car bomb at the entrance to the barracks while a Burkinabe fighter detonated another inside the barracks, allowing other fighters to enter”, according to the press release from JNIM.
“We tell the government in Bamako that if you have the right to hire mercenaries to kill defenseless innocents, then we have the right to destroy you and target you,” he said.
Last year, Mali indicated that the agreements with Wagner were prompted by the French withdrawal of its troops from the country.
Western leaders and rights groups have expressed concern over Wagner’s actions in Mali, and in particular over his alleged crimes against certain communities such as the Fulani.
But the Malian government referred to Wagner’s staff as Russian army instructors.
Since 2012, Mali has been fighting violence orchestrated by militant and terrorist groups in the north and center of the country.
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