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Mali: Al-Qaeda claims responsibility for two deadly attacks near Bamako on Monday

Mali: Al-Qaeda claims responsibility for two deadly attacks near Bamako on Monday
Illustration photo: onlookers watch from afar the scene of an explosion in Gao, northwestern ...   -  
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Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for two attacks that killed at least two firefighters and three civilians Monday near Bamako, in a statement authenticated by the U.S. NGO SITE, which specializes in tracking radical groups, accessed Wednesday by AFP.

The jihadists of the al-Qaeda affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM, JNIM in Arabic) "claimed responsibility for two simultaneous attacks against a fire station and an environmental and forest protection unit located near the Malian capital Bamako," the statement said.

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The attacks targeted the towns of Markacoungo and Kassela, both on the Bamako-Ségou highway in southeastern Mali, an area where they are relatively rare.

Al Qaeda did not give a toll for these attacks. The Malian Ministry of Security and Civil Protection said Tuesday that the Markacoungo attack killed two firemen and three civilians.

Mali, a Sahelian country, has been fighting a jihadist insurgency for a decade that has spread to neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.

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The junta in power since 2020 has brought in Russians, whom it presents as military instructors to help fight the jihadists.

Westerners describe the military instructors as mercenaries from the paramilitary group Wagner, close to the Kremlin.

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