Mounting massacres across Africa's Sahel nations

The tri-border region where the Sahel countries of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali come together is the scene of fast-mounting massacres by presumed Islamist militants. At least 80 people were killed in an ambush in Burkina Faso on Aug. 18. The target was a  convoy near the town of Arbinda, but scores of civilians were slain along with 17 soldiers and members of a pro-government militia. On Aug. 4, presumed militants killed 30 civilians, soldiers and militiamen in an attack near the town of Markoye. The assailants first attacked civilian villagers, and then fired on soldiers responding to the raid. State media reported that government troops killed 16 of the attackers. (The Hill, Al Jazeera, AP, France24, Reuters)

In Niger, gunmen killed 37 civilians, including 14 children, in an Aug. 16 attack on the village of Banibangou. The victims were peasants gunned down working in their fields. Authorities blamed the Islamic State of the Greater Sahara (EIGS) for the attack, which brought to 450 the number slain in Niger's Tillabéri region this year. (EuroNews, Market Research)

In Mali, ongoing deadly attacks have caused a massive population exodus in several regions of the country, including Menaka, Mopti, Gao, Timbuktu and Sikasso. "Violence is spreading so rapidly across Mali that it threatens the very survival of the state," said UN human rights expert Alioune Tine after a visit to the country earlier this month. (ReliefWeb, UN News)

France: head of Islamic State in Sahara killed

France announced the death of the leader of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS), calling the killing of Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi (Sahraoui) "a major success" for the French military after more than eight years fighting extremists in the Sahel. French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that al-Sahrawi "was neutralized by French forces" but gave no further details. It was not announced where al-Sahrawi was killed, though EIGS is active along the border between Mali and Niger. (AP)