Nearly 50 killed in ISIS attack in Northern Mali
Mali continues to struggle in its fight against separatist and jihadist insurgencies since 2012.
Nearly 50 people were killed after ISIS-affiliated jihadists mounted an attack on a village in northern Mali, according to AFP.
According to sources, the raid was followed by intense fighting between them and other armed groups, including Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists.
"More than 45 civilians were killed when the Islamic State took over (on Tuesday) -- they burned down houses, the market and other places," the official said.
"What really worries us is the humanitarian situation -- the people are on their own."
The attack occurred at Talataye, about 150 kilometers from the city of Gao.
After heavy fighting, the Islamic State took control of the Talatayet region (Mali)... the #jnim(al-Qaeda), #Gatia and #msa coalition fled... the army planes intervention...by bombing the region in support of al-Qaeda #Talataye https://t.co/IGQVcAOg6Q pic.twitter.com/f6dUgUAdw1— احمد منصور (@ahmdmns36161451) September 6, 2022
Talataye, which is largely made up of hamlets, has been tyrannized by Mali's decade-long security crisis, lying at the heart of competing areas of influence.
An official from the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA), one of the armed groups involved in the clashes, put the civilian death toll at 30 and said many people had been displaced.
"The fighting between the various jihadist groups resulted in the deaths of several dozen civilians", said an international humanitarian worker in the region, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"Some wounded who could not be helped died afterward."
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Mali has been under threat from terrorists since 2012 and has witnessed two military coups since 2020.
Colonels angry at the government's handling of the long-running insurgency seized power in August 2020, then carried out another coup in May the following year.
The junta that came to power in August 2020 has had sharp tensions with France, which had sent troops to its former colony in what many saw as a bid to still have a foothold in the country.
The Malian people have a profound sentiment of resentment toward France due to its failure to achieve any tangible achievements in terms of the country's security, political instability, and economic issues in the last ten years.
Paris no longer possesses the legal basis for carrying out military operations in Mali after the West African nation withdrew from defense agreements with France, and the French fully withdrew from Mali's territory by August 15.
The leaders of Mali and Burkina Faso recently met on September 4 to strengthen their military cooperation.
Burkina Faso's Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba and Mali's Colonel Assimi Goita agreed to "better examine and strengthen" the military partnership between the two countries.
"The two countries... intend to pool their efforts in the fight against terrorism," the statement said.
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