Jihadists attack Mali troops escorting trucks heading to Niger
Jihadists attacked Mali troops escorting trucks heading to Niger, with the death toll reported to be increasing every day.
Jihadists attacked Mali troops escorting trucks heading to Niger, with the death toll reported to be increasing every day. Image by flickr.com
Jihadists attacked Malian troops escorting trucks heading to neighbouring Niger on Thursday 3 August 2023, with the toll feared to be high, security sources and a local official told AFP.
Rebels affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have been waging an insurgency in the Sahel state since 2012 and frequently target the security forces.
A Malian military source said Islamic State jihadists ambushed army units near the northeastern town of Menaka on Thursday. “We are currently working out the toll… Our troops defended themselves fiercely,” the source said.
A police official confirmed the report, adding that the soldiers “were escorting trucks to Niger”. “The toll is heavy,” a local official told AFP. No details about the trucks were immediately available.
Neighbouring Niger is also battling a jihadist insurgency and is in a standoff with regional neighbours following a coup last week.
WILL ECOWAS INTERVENE?
Junta-ruled Mali and Burkina Faso have backed Niger’s new military leaders, saying an intervention by regional bloc ECOWAS to restore deposed President Mohamed Bazoum would be tantamount to a declaration of war on them.
The jihadist violence in Mali spilt over into Niger and Burkina Faso in 2015, fuelling anger at the civilian governments that ended in military takeovers in all three nations since 2020.