Mali carries out airstrikes on terror group

Mali’s military junta reported conducting airstrikes on Wednesday against “terrorist groups” who were planning attacks in the northern region of the country.

The army announced on X, formerly Twitter, that they conducted preemptive airstrikes carried out by the Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) followed by an airborne operation against armed terrorist groups, including a sought-after terrorist leader.

The terrorist groups had exerted “pressure on peaceful populations 35 kilometres (22 miles) north of Timbuktu”, the statement added.

Local officials report that Timbuktu has been under a jihadist blockade since late August.

During the operation, the military reported the destruction of a vehicle and the discovery of “manufacturing equipment for improvised explosive devices and large quantities of ammunition.”

Since 2012, Mali has been grappling with a severe security crisis that originated in the north and subsequently expanded to encompass the central regions of the country, as well as spilling over into neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Mali’s junta, which seized power in 2020, has made sovereignty a key priority.

The 13,000-member UN peacekeeping force, MINUSMA, which initially deployed to Mali in 2013, is scheduled to withdraw from the country by the end of the year, as requested by the junta.

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