At least 4 Mali civilians killed in suspected jihadist attack

2017-07-26 12:00
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Bamako - At least four civilians, including a child, were killed in an attack by suspected jihadist militants in northeast Mali on Tuesday, security and official sources said.

The ethnic Tuareg victims were sleeping when the attack happened in the early hours of Tuesday near the Niger border. Others there managed to flee the area, a local official said.

The Tuareg encampment, some 44km from the northeastern town of Menaka "was attacked by terrorists. At least four people were killed," a security source told AFP.

Another source blamed the attack on an Islamist militia group, led by Abou Walid Sahraoui, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State jihadist group.

As well as the child who was killed, some of the victims were elderly, a local Menaka official said.

Northern Mali fell to jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda in March 2012, and although they were driven out of key towns by a French-led military intervention the following year, the Islamists have regrouped and now have spread further south.

Mali's north is controlled in parts by armed groups loyal to Bamako and in others by former rebels who want greater autonomy for the region, while the state is absent from much of the territory.

Both sides signed a 2015 peace deal aimed at curbing violence in Mali's north, but both have repeatedly violated a ceasefire.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  mali  |  west africa

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