The Malian military says its troops have killed around 50 militants in a counterterrorism operation, during which dozens of the soldiers captured in deadly attacks by terror outfits last month were also rescued.
In late September, unidentified assailants launched attacks on two army’s bases in the center of the African country, killing 38 soldiers and captured dozens of others.
The attacks are considered among the heaviest losses for Mali’s army since January as it struggles to fend off increasingly brazen raids by terror outfits, some with links to the al-Qaeda and Daesh Takfiri terrorist groups.
“Around 50 enemy neutralized, around 30 wounded, and equipment destroyed,” the army said in statement on Saturday, detailing the results of its counter-operation against militants.
It added that the army also managed to free 36 of around 60 of its troopers who had been missing following the September attacks.
At least 25 Malian soldiers are killed and about 60 go missing in militant attacks on two army bases in central Mali.
Since 2012, Mali has been in a persisting conflict after Takfiri terrorists hijacked an uprising by Tuareg people, a large Berber ethnic confederation living across the Sahara Desert, in the north. During the past seven years, the violence has moved to central Mali, from where Takfiri terrorists launch attacks across the Sahel region.
Separately, pro-government Tuareg militia GATIA also said on Saturday that six of its fighters had lost their lives in an overnight raid by pro-government Tuareg militia GATIA on one of its outposts in the country’s northern region of Kidal.
Groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and Daesh have used central and northern Mali as a launch pad for growing numbers of attacks across the Sahel region, especially on neighbors Niger and Burkina Faso, despite the presence of 4,500 French troops, who help the Malian army to push back terrorists.
Malians have become increasingly frustrated with the failure of the authorities to end the frequent attacks by militant groups, as well as increasing tit-for-tat ethnic killings between farmers and herders, which have also surged this year.
By Africafrique and agencies