Suspected jihadists kill policeman in southern Mali

imgSuspected jihadists killed a policeman in a rare attack in southern Mali Wednesday, hoisting their black flag at the local military base, just days before the country’s main Tuareg-led rebel movement is expected to sign a peace deal.
The West African nation remains divided among rival armed factions, plagued by drug trafficking and infiltrated by jihadist groups, but attacks outside the unrest-riven north of the country remain unusual.
A minister said “cowardly terrorists” killed a warrant officer in Misseni, near Mali’s border with Ivory Coast, while a local councillor said “around 30 jihadists” briefly occupied the town’s army camp.
The councillor said the militants arrived at 02:00, adding: “I heard gunshots in the Misseni military camp. The jihadists were shouting ‘Allahu Akbar [God is greatest].’
“They took control of the military camp where they put up their black flag.”
The militants opened fire on local policemen, killing the officer before escaping, according to the councillor, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A Malian security source confirmed the policeman’s death, adding that “the terrorist jihadists led an organised attack”.
“They probably came from Ivory Coast because Misseni is 20km from the Ivorian border,” the source added.
“They covered part of the distance in a vehicle, and another part on motorcycles and on foot.”
A separate source at the town’s police headquarters said two Malian army vehicles and police motorcycles were set alight.
A local military source told AFP the army had sent back-up from regional capital Sikasso.
A witness in Misseni said the militants escaped at around 05:00, leaving behind a copy of the Koran and a piece of paper on which was written Ansar Dine, a jihadist group that is active in northern Mali and linked to al-Qaeda.

Check Also

Jihadi Trends: What Is On The Horizon In 2024?

Introduction The Hamas attack against Israel on October 7, 2023, has reinvigorated jihadi groups such …