Mali army says large number of terrorists neutralized

The Malian army has reported dealing a heavy blow to jihadists in the west of the country, while acknowledging the loss of five soldiers during the clash.

According to the army’s statement released overnight, fighters affiliated with the Al-Qaeda-linked Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM) launched an assault early Sunday using two kamikaze vehicles and shellfire on an army post.

The attack was thwarted in the western village of Mourdiah, approximately 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of the capital Bamako.

The army declared that it inflicted substantial casualties on the attackers, stating that “a large number of terrorists were neutralized, with dozens wounded.” However, it also confirmed the loss of five soldiers, with several others wounded in the confrontation.

This incident follows a major attack in February in the same area, where several Malian soldiers lost their lives, attributed to jihadists.

The Malian army’s disclosure of its losses is infrequent, with independent sources of information often silenced due to pressure from armed groups and the ruling military in the regions where operations occur.

Since 2012, Mali has faced turmoil from various groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, as well as self-defense forces and criminal elements. Following a 2020 coup, Mali’s military has shifted away from its anti-jihadist alliance with France and European partners, aligning more closely with Russia both politically and militarily.

Allegations of serious abuses against civilians have been leveled against both jihadists and government forces, but verifying such claims remains challenging.

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