49 civilians killed after militants attacked river boat in north-eastern Mali
At least 49 civilians, killing 15 soldiers were killed when militants attacked a river boat in north-eastern Mali.
At least 49 civilians were killed when militants attacked a river boat in north-eastern Mali. They also reportedly attacked an army camp, killing 15 soldiers, while around 50 militants are said to have died.
According to a statement from the military junta read on state television, the attacks have been claimed by extremist insurgent group JNIM, an umbrella coalition of armed groups, aligned with al-Qaida. The government has declared three days of national mourning to honor the civilians and troops killed.
The northern city of Timbuktu has been under blockade since the end of last month and there have been several other recent attacks on transport. Over 30,000 residents have reportedly fled the city.
The deadly attacks come as the U.N. prepares to withdraw its 17,000-strong peacekeeping mission MINUSMA from Mali at the government’s request. The pullout is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
The growing insecurity in Mali has increased instability in West Africa’s volatile Sahel region. Mali has had two coups since 2020 in which the military vowed to stop the jihadi violence.