Mali customs post fired on from bakkies

2016-02-11 21:01
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Bamako - A customs officer and two civilians were killed in an attack by suspected jihadists in northern Mali on Thursday, customs and military sources said.

The assailants arrived in the town of Hombori on two pick-up trucks, a local customs official said told AFP.

"They opened fire on a customs post and killed our colleague Mody Ndiaye, who only arrived on Wednesday to take up his position. Two civilians were also killed," the official said.

They also set fire to a vehicle before ransacking the building, he said.

A military source said "the terrorists came from the north with vehicles. They had military weapons. They began shooting in the air before attacking the customs post".

Since Tuesday, Hombori police had noticed "suspicious movements" in the town, source said.

Residents later staged a protest to demand more security for civilians in the town.

Northern Mali fell under the control of Tuareg-led rebels and jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda in 2012.

The Islamists sidelined the Tuareg to take sole control. Although largely ousted by a French-led military operation in January 2013 the jihadist groups remain active.

Thursday's attack occurred not far from the commune of Mondoro, near the border with Burkina Faso, where three Malian soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb on Tuesday.

The two attacks coincide with the first visit to the region this week by the new head of the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA), Mahamat Saleh Annadif.

Annadif notably visited Kidal, a stronghold of the Tuareg-led former rebel group the Co-ordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA), where tensions sparked by the arrival in the town this month of members of a pro-government group have eased following a deal between the two.

Read more on:    minusma  |  mali  |  west africa

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