Armed Forces Kill 10 Terrorists in Central Mali

Armed Forces Kill 10 Terrorists in Central Mali

Wednesday, 13 June, 2018 - 08:45
FILE PHOTO: Troops from the Malian Armed Forces and French soldiers conduct a joint patrol during the regional anti-insurgent Operation Barkhane in Inaloglog, Mali, October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
Ten extremists have been "neutralized" in troubled central Mali after clashes with the military, Defense Minister Tiena Coulibaly said in a statement.

The Malian military "neutralized 10 terrorists, recovered weapons, explosive devices and other war materials," after fighting in Karakinde in the Mopti region, Coulibaly said on Tuesday.

He asked locals "to continue backing defense and security forces in the fight against terrorism in all its forms".

The Malian army has recently regularly spoken about the "neutralization of terrorists" in the region but rights groups have raised the alarm saying they were extra-judicial killings.

Resident Ousmane Diallo says gunmen on Tuesday entered Bani village and fired into the air, causing panic before they headed for the prefecture, the local symbol of government.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Al-Qaeda-linked extremist groups have escalated attacks in the region, targeting Malian soldiers and administrative buildings.

On May 19, the army said three Malian soldiers and 12 "terrorists" were killed in fighting at an army camp near the border with Burkina Faso. But locals alleged the dead were all civilians and the army later put out a new statement that spoke of 12 "people" killed.  

Tensions and violence have intensified in the troubled area over the past three years with clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers from the Bambara and Dogon ethnic groups who accuse the pastoralists of colluding with militants.

Extremists linked to al-Qaeda took control of the desert north of Mali in early 2012, but were largely driven out in a French-led military operation launched in January 2013. 

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