BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — A series of attacks on Sunday targeted three military bases in Mali, killing at least six soldiers and wounding nearly a dozen others, the West African nation’s military said.
In a tweet, the Malian army said simultaneous attacks were underway in Sevare, Niono and Bapho, three central cities in the vast desert nation.
Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State has ravaged the country for eight years. The military junta that took power in 2020 is struggling to stem the violence.
Mali’s army has been attacked a number of times this year, but this is the first time they have been hit in three different cities.
A military official who was not authorized to speak to the media said the attacks involved car bombs and that the camp in Bapho was particularly hard hit, with shrapnel from an explosion damaging a helicopter.
The violence took place in the center of the country where the Malian army has been very active along with the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary, and where the junta claims to have made significant progress, said Michael Shurkin, a former political analyst. at the CIA working with the Dakar-based 14 North Strategies.
“The attacks appear to contradict the government’s claims. The attacks seem well coordinated. This is not the work of an opponent whose back is against a wall,” he said.