Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) announced on July 29 that its fighters had carried out a large, coordinated attack on a French military camp in the southern Malian region of Gossi.
In a statement, the terrorist group said the attack, which took place on July 23, began with the use of two vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs). The first VBIED blew up at the camp’s gate, opening the way for the second, which exploded inside the camp.
JNIM fighters then raided the camp under the cover of mortar shelling. Heavy clashes broke out. The terrorist group acknowledged that two of its fighters were killed in the raid.
The Minister of Defence of France said on July 23 a soldier from the army’s 1st Parachute Hussar Regiment was killed and two others were injured in the attack. According to a statement by the ministry, the soldier lost his life when a VBIED blew up near his armored vehicle.
JNIM questioned the French statement, accusing Paris of attempting to cover up its losses in the well-planned attack.
“Eye witnesses pointed out that the camp suffered great destruction, which again raises questions about the veracity of the French official accounts,” the group said in its statement.
JNIM was formed in 2017 after the merger of Ansar Dine, the Macina Liberation Front, al-Mourabitoun and the Saharan branch of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The group is the official branch of Al-Qaeda in Mali.
France intervened in Mali in 2013. Last month, it struck al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, AQIM, killing its leader Abdelmalek Droukdel in a special operation.