Insurgency mounts on Mali-Burkina borderlands
At least 25 Malian soldiers are dead and more than 60 others missing after two assaults on bases in central Mali, near the border with Burkina Faso. On Sept. 30, jihadist forces simultaneously targeted the Malian army base in Mondoro and the G5 Sahel force camp at Boulikessi. The G5 Sahel group includes Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Mauritania, and receives logistical support from the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Malian officials say the insurgents used "heavy weapons" in the assaults, and that at least 15 militants were killed. Local reports indicate the militants were able to briefly hold the bases and capture large amounts of weapons and equipment. Mali has now launched a joint operation with Burkina Faso and French forces in the region to hunt down the militants.
No group has yet to claim the raids, but Malian authorities have blamed the Burkinabe jihadist group Ansaroul Islam, said to be an offshoot of the Qaeda-linked Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM, or JNIM by its Arabic acronym). (LWJ, UN News, BBC News)