According to the government, several dozen people were killed in coordinated, simultaneous attacks on two military bases in Mali on Sunday. The attacks by unspecified terrorist groups took place early in the morning and were directed against the Boukessi and Mondoro bases in the central part of the country. A statement by the Malian General Staff said that six soldiers were killed and 18 wounded in the attacks.
Around 30 of the attackers were shot, and around 40 motorcycles and numerous military material were also confiscated. There was quick support from the French military in repelling the attackers. France has around 4,500 soldiers deployed in its “Barkhane” anti-terrorist operation in the fight against Islamist terror groups in the Sahel region.
In the countries of the Sahel – an area that stretches south of the Sahara from the Atlantic to the Red Sea – armed groups are active, and some have pledged allegiance to the terrorist organizations IS and Al Qaeda. Austria is participating in Mali with three soldiers in staff functions in the United Nations Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) and with paramedics in the European Training Mission (EUTM).