By: The Fatu Network Editorial
The Mali government reported two devastating attacks that have resulted in the loss of 64 lives, including 49 innocent civilians and 15 soldiers. In response to this tragic event, a declaration of national mourning has been made.
On Thursday, the northern region of Mali bore witness to these incidents, as “terrorist” assaults unfolded, targeting a passenger river transport boat known as “the Timbuktu boat” on the Niger river, as well as an army base located in Bamba within the Gao region in the north. The area had been facing mounting pressure from armed groups engaged in clashes with the central government in recent weeks.
A government statement revealed that these two separate attacks have led to a provisional count of 49 civilians and 15 soldiers losing their lives. However, it did not specify the distribution of casualties between the riverboat and the military base.
Responsibility for the Bamba attack was claimed by the Groupe de soutien à l’islam et aux musulmans (GSIM), an alliance of jihadists affiliated with al-Qaeda. This claim was made on the al-Zallaqa propaganda platform, according to the SITE organization, an American non-governmental organization specializing in monitoring radical groups.
The government acknowledged that both attacks were “claimed” by GSIM. Furthermore, the assault on the riverboat resulted in injuries and significant material damage. The swift response from the army enabled the neutralization of approximately fifty terrorists, as reported by the same official source.
In a separate announcement, the government conveyed the commencement of a three-day national mourning period, starting from Friday (today), in memory of the lives lost in these tragic events.