World 23 killed in central Mali attacks
Mali: more than 100 jihadists freed for a possible exchange
Video: "Syrian jihadist fighters" present in Karabakh, indicates Macron (Le Figaro) Your browser does not support this video © - Capture d ' June 13, 2018 screen of French hostage Sophie Pétronin, kidnapped on December 24, 2016 in Gao, central Mali More than a hundred convicted or suspected jihadists were released in Mali over the weekend in the framework of negotiations for the release of a Malian persnnalité and a French woman supposed to be in the hands of the jihadists, we learned on Monday
Twenty-three people were killed in central Mali in a series of attacks early Tuesday, officials said, in the deadliest ambush since military officers seized power in August.
Overnight, militants raided a military outpost in the central town of Sokoura, near the border with neighbouring Burkina Faso, killing nine soldiers, the army said in a statement.
Mali frees more jihadists, boosting hostage release scenario
A second batch of jihadists has been freed in Mali, sources said Tuesday, boosting speculation that a French charity worker and Malian politician held by the insurgents may be freed in a swap. About 30 "jihadist prisoners were released" late Monday and early Tuesday "and were flown north," a Mali security source said. "It's to do with the release of the hostage Soumaila Cisse and the Frenchwoman, Sophie Petronin," the source said, speaking onA second batch of jihadists has been freed in Mali, sources said Tuesday, boosting speculation that a French charity worker and Malian politician held by the insurgents may be freed in a swap.
Reinforcements sent to the outpost were ambushed and hit a roadside bomb later on Tuesday morning, the statement added, giving a provisional tally of two soldiers killed and 10 wounded.
An earlier army statement said that three soldiers had been killed in that attack.
Mali: after the liberation of jihadists, cautious hope for the hostages Pétronin and Cissé
© - Screenshot of June 13, 2018 of the French hostage Sophie Pétronin, kidnapped on December 24, 2016 in Gao, in the center of Mali A significant development seemed to be taking shape in Mali on Tuesday in the efforts to free the last French hostage in the world, Sophie Pétronin, and that of one of the highest Malian political figures, Soumaïla Cissé.
A police and humanitarian official said that 12 civilians travelling in a minibus to a weekly market in the central town of Bankass were also caught up in this attack.
"Twelve civilians including two women and a baby were killed," the police official said.
He added that they had "followed the army reinforcement", believing themselves to be protected, but were then targeted along with the soldiers.
Details of the attack remain hazy.
A government official based in the region, who declined to be named, said that the civilians happened to be travelling ahead of the military convoy when they were caught in the crossfire.
The attacks come just days after the release of French aid worker Sophie Petronin, who had been held captive in northern Mali by the al-Qaeda-affiliated GSIM group.
The interim government in Bamako released some 200 prisoners to secure her release, as well as the freeing of two Italian hostages and Malian opposition politician Soumaila Cisse.
In Mali, the personalities arrested during the coup were released
© AP The president of the Malian transition, Bah Ndaw (on the right), and the vice-president, Assimi Goïta (on the left), during the the inauguration ceremony at the Bamako International Conference Center, September 25, 2020. The soldiers who took power in Mali on August 18 before embarking on a transition supposed to bring civilians back to power announced on Wednesday the release of 12 civilian and military personalities arrested during the coup.
Mali has been struggling to contain a jihadist insurgency that first emerged in the north of the country in 2012, and has since spread to the centre of the country and neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.
Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed in the fighting to date, and hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes.
On Tuesday, Mali's military said that "13 terrorists" were killed and that warplanes destroyed two vehicles. It added that it was still trying to determine the definitive death toll from the attacks.
- 'Long war' -
Anger at Mali's brutal conflict contributed to protests against president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita this year, which culminated in his ouster in a bloodless military coup on August 18.
An interim government -- which is set to govern for 18 months before staging elections -- was sworn in on September 25.
Civilian Bah Ndaw is serving as interim president, while the head of the military junta Colonel Assimi Goita is his vice president.
The presence of military officers in the upper echelons of Mali's government appears to have done little to stem the flow of attacks.
Militants have killed 175 Malian soldiers over the past six months, according to the United Nations.
And last week, suspected jihadists slaughtered five villagers in the central village of Farabougou. About 10 villagers were also kidnapped in the turbulent region on October 6.
During his first meeting with his government ministers on Friday, Ndaw said that "the enemy is known and victory is possible".
"Failing an immediate victory in this war, which I know is long-term, we must win reassuring victories," he said.
Release of Sophie Pétronin: four questions on the jihadists released and their group .
© AFP / GONZALO FUENTES Sophie Pétronin was detained for four years by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims. After the release of Sophie Pétronin after four years of captivity, many questions arise about the negotiations that led to this happy ending. Because in order to achieve its goal and obtain the release of politician Soumaïla Cissé - Bamako's number one objective - the Malian authorities have agreed to release many prisoners.