Further details have emerged regarding the substantial attack suffered by the Malian army on Wednesday in Dinangourou, Koro Circle, in central Mali. The Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) had already claimed responsibility for the attack. Additionally, in the northern region, rebels from the Permanent Strategic Framework (CSP) report the loss of one of their key figures, Colonel Hassane Ag Fagaga, in a drone strike by the army at the Algerian border.
JNIM, linked to al-Qaeda, disseminated videos on Thursday evening, showcasing jihadists looting the military camp in Dinangourou without regard for the bodies of Malian soldiers still on the ground. According to their statements, the camp was initially targeted by a suicide bomber. The jihadists claim that several dozen soldiers were killed. Local security and civilian sources confirm a high toll, though an accurate figure has yet to be verified.
On Thursday, December 21, the army acknowledged the attack in a statement, referring to “ongoing assessments.” No further details have been provided since. Armored vehicles, weapons, uniforms—videos released by JNIM depict a substantial booty seized by the jihadists.
On another front, the Malian army achieved success. The CSP rebels themselves announced that drone strikes on Thursday evening in Tinzaouatène, at the Algerian border, resulted in the death of five rebel fighters.
Among them was Colonel Hassane Ag Fagaga, a historical figure in the Tuareg rebellions who had become a significant figure in the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) and CSP. He had also served in the ranks of the Malian National Guard.
After signing the 2015 peace agreement, Hassane Ag Fagaga was appointed president of the Interim Regional Authority of Kidal in 2017. His death constitutes a significant loss, both militarily and symbolically, for the CSP rebels. In a statement released on Friday, the Malian army referred to “surgical strikes” in Tinzaouatène, during which “several terrorists were neutralized, and a substantial amount of rolling stock was destroyed.”