From Reuters and The Irish Times
At least 53 soldiers and one civilian have been killed in an attack on an army post in northern Mali, the government said, in one of the deadliest strikes against the West African country’s military in recent memory.
Islamic state has claimed responsibility for an attack in northeastern Mali that killed at least 53 soldiers, the group’s Amaq news agency reported on Saturday without citing evidence. authorities first reported the attack in Indelimane, Menaka region, on Friday, but gave a lower provisional death toll. “Heavily armed unidentified men attacked around noon. The attack started with shellfire . . . Then they retreated toward Niger,” government spokesman Yaya Sangare told the Reuters news agency on Saturday
France said one of its soldiers there had died after his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device, according to a statement by the French presidency. The attack follows jihadist raids in late September that underscored the increasing reach and sophistication of armed groups operating in the region.
Members of the Army Ranger Wing, the special forces arm of the Irish Defence Forces, are on a deployment to Mali – deemed to be the most dangerous UN mission in the world. Fourteen members are serving with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission (Minusma) in the northwest African country.