Conflicts & War

Suspected militants attack key military base in Mali

Bamako, July 22 (EFE).- Militants attacked Mali’s main military base where the interim president lives outside the capital Bamako on Friday, the army said.

The military said it repelled the car bomb attack and two artillery shells on the Kati base in the morning.

“The provisional toll is 2 assailants (were) neutralized. The situation is under control and combing is underway to flush out the perpetrators and their accomplices,” the army tweeted.

President Colonel Assimi Goita resides near the military base, some 15 km (10 miles) from the capital.

The base is one of the main nerve centers of Mali’s military apparatus.

It was the site of mutinies in 2021 and 2020, leading to successful military coups.

A junta headed by Goita rules the landlocked and impoverished West African country.

He was the coup leader who toppled the elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, in August 2020. He carried out a second coup in May 2021.

The colonel then became interim president and intends to continue to lead a transitional government until elections in 2024.

Initial information from the spot indicated a car bomb exploded in the base near an ammunition store.

At least two artillery shells were fired.

The Bamako airport and the operations center of the UN mission in Mali are located just 17 km from Kati.

Mission sources told Efe that its staff was told not to go to the base and stay at home on Friday.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. But Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Niger and the entire Sahel region usually carry out similar assaults.

On Thursday, the army said al Qaeda-linked militants in coordinated attacks on several military camps killed a soldier and wounded 15.

Last week, unidentified militants killed six people at a checkpoint 70 km east of Bamako.

Mali is battling a grave security situation and political instability, as Islamist groups have increased their attacks on the civilian population, the Malian Army, and foreign and United Nations peacekeepers. EFE


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