Suspected Jihadists Kill Five in Mali

Suspected jihadists killed five people at a checkpoint in southern Mali on Thursday, a senior official in the regional governorate said.

At dawn, “an armed terrorist group” attacked the Nossombougou checkpoint a few dozen kilometers (miles) north of the capital Bamako, the official said, asking not to be named.

Two gendarmes, a policeman, and two civilians — one a Senegalese driver — died in the attack, he said.

Mali has been battling a security and political crisis since jihadist and separatist insurgencies broke out in the north in 2012.

Jihadists affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have escalated their operations into central Mali and neighboring Niger and Burkina Faso.

Thousands of civilians, police, and troops have been killed across the region, and more than two million have fled their homes.

A UN report said recently 1,277 civilians were killed last year, double the number in 2021.

The Sahel country has been ruled by the military since August 2020.

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