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42 Mali soldiers killed in suspected IS attack

Islamist militants have been blamed for an attack that left more than 42 Malian soldiers dead and 22 injured in one of the deadliest incidents in recent years.

August 11, 2022
11 August 2022

Forty-two Malian soldiers have been killed and 22 injured in an attack near the town of Tessit, Mali’s government says, blaming an Islamic State affiliate.

It was one of the deadliest attacks in recent years for the Malian army, which has been battling a decade-long insurgency by militant groups that have spread across West Africa’s Sahel region.

“The Malian army units of Tessit … reacted vigorously to a complex and co-ordinated attack by armed terrorist groups, presumably from Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, characterised by the use of drones, explosives, car bombs, and artillery,” the government said in a statement.

Soldiers killed 37 combatants during several hours of heavy fighting, the statement said.

The army had previously said 17 soldiers had been killed in the attack and that nine had gone missing.

Mali is ruled by a military junta that overthrew the democratic government in 2020, in part over frustration at its failure to rein in violence, but attacks have remained common.

An al-Qaeda affiliate claimed an attack on the country’s main military base in late July.

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