Two Senegalese soldiers and a suspected rebel were killed Monday in a clash in the west of The Gambia, Senegal’s army said.
The troops, part of a peacekeeping force deployed by the West African bloc ECOWAS, came under fire from rebels, according to the Senegal spokesperson.
The attackers “supposedly belong to the Movement of Democratic forces of the Casamance” who were traveling in a truck transporting timber, the Senegalese said.
The Gambia, a strip of territory that runs from the Atlantic into Senegal, is home to rebels from Senegal’s southern Casamance region, long riven by conflict.
After claiming thousands of lives and devastating the economy, the fighting has persisted at low intensity.
One non-commissioned officer and one non-commissioned soldier were fatally wounded, the Senegalese military said. One rebel died, while two others were taken prisoner, it added.
A spokesman for the ECOMIG (ECOWAS Military Intervention in The Gambia) force said one rebel was wounded, in addition to the soldier killed.
The ECOMIG force, made up mainly of Senegalese soldiers, was deployed to The Gambia in January 2017 after former dictator Yahya Jammeh refused to cede power after losing a presidential election.
Its mission has continued at President Adama Barrow‘s request despite Jammeh’s departure into exile.