Armed militants from the terrorist organization ISIS ambushed Malian army units escorting trucks, near Mali’s border with Niger, raising concerns about potential high casualties.
The attack took place on Thursday near the town of Ménaka in northeastern Mali, and security sources reported that ISIS elements set up an ambush for the army units, resulting in a fierce confrontation in which Malian soldiers defended themselves with determination. According to officials, the soldiers were escorting the trucks to Niger at the time of the attack, but no details about the trucks have been disclosed yet.
The Sahel region has been plagued by terrorist insurgency since 2012, with militants affiliated with both ISIS and al-Qaeda conducting rebellions. They frequently target security forces and have expanded their operations from Mali to Niger and Burkina Faso. In response to the ongoing instability in the region, neighboring Niger is also facing its terrorist insurgency and is currently dealing with a crisis following last week’s coup.
Mali and Burkina Faso, led by new military leaders, have expressed support for Niger during this time of turmoil and warned that any intervention by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum would be seen as a declaration of war against them.
The escalating terrorist attacks in Ménaka have caused havoc in the region, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives and the displacement of millions of people from their homes. The situation remains highly volatile, and terrorist groups have intensified their activities in the area over the past few months, leading to widespread concern for civilian safety and security.
International human rights organization has reported that the attacks have claimed hundreds of lives and forced thousands to flee the region since the beginning of the year.