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At Least 25 Soldiers Killed In Mali Attack, As Light Attack Aircraft Crashes

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At Least 25 Soldiers Killed In Mali Attack, As Light Attack Aircraft Crashes

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On April 6th, unknown armed attackers killed at least 25 Malian soldiers in a military base northern town of Bamba.

Approximately 12 attackers were “neutralized” when the Malian armed forces were repelling the attack.

AFP News Agency cited an anonymous resident, who said that at least 23 corpses could be seen on the ground, adding that the military base camp had been destroyed, and the equipment in it had been stolen.

“No civilian was hurt, this was an operation against the camp,” the resident added.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Mali’s army has repeatedly suffered increasingly deadly attacks by various groups linked to al-Qaeda or by Islamic State In West Africa Province (ISWAP), or even Boko Haram.

Mali has been in a near-constant state of violence since 2012, when a localized revolt began in the northern region of the country, spreading into the heart of Mali and bordering countries Niger and Burkina Faso. In the past year, security in these countries has devolved amid what Al Jazeera calls a “fireball of conflict” that involves a variety of armed groups, military campaigns by national armies, international actors and local militias.

In 2019 alone, between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso approximately 4,000 people have died.

In order to attempt and counter the spreading chaos in the Sahel, France deployed troops who have had close to no success in countering the militants.

The French are trying to ramp up the training for not only the Malian military but other members of the G5 Sahel too. They have created a Special Operations Task Force (Takuba) that will train, assist, and accompany host nation soldiers into the fight against al-Qaeda and ISIS.

The Mali attack comes despite attempts to reinvigorate the country’s political life in the hope of stopping the deadly attacks.

The hope is that the new National Assembly will implement reforms from a 2015 peace agreement brokered between the government in Bamako and several armed groups.

Al-Qaeda-affiliated armed groups have indicated that they are prepared to negotiate with the government, but only if French and UN troops pull out.

Separately, on April 7th, a Super Tucano light attack and trainer aircraft operated by the Malian air force crashed, killing both pilots on board.

The aircraft came down on 7 April near the town of Sevare in the Mopti region of Mali near the Inner Niger Delta. The Mali Air Force’s Base Aerienne 102 is located at Sevare Airport.

The official version is that the aircraft lost control while it was attempting to land.

Mali signed a contract with Embraer for six of the aircraft at the Paris Air Show on 15 June 2015. Embraer said the contract included logistic support for the operation of the aircraft and training.

It is understood that the four aircraft delivered are configured for light attack and close air support. It had been suggested the remaining two would be fitted with surveillance systems and used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, including border patrol, but sources indicate the last two were cancelled in order to save money.

Recently, the Chadian army, with allied forces began an operation against the militant groups in the Lake Chad area, thus the situation in the entire Sahel region is under threat of rapidly deteriorating if the fighting escalates further.

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