Category Archives: Terrorism

Five Mali soldiers killed in jihad

Five soldiers killed in an ambush, the  Malian army representatives said.  According to the statement  the soldiers were travelling between the towns of Hombori and Boni, about 100 km north of the Burkina Faso border, when they fell into an ambush. Their vehicle was also destroyed. Reinforcements have been immediately dispatched. (Image above: Hombori sunset).

It came days after gunmen killed 24 soldiers in an attack on an army unit in neighboring Burkina Faso.

Terrorist attacks targeting local security forces in the Sahel region have increased lately.

Since 2012, Islamists linked to al Qaeda have taken control of northern Mali, exploiting the downfall of Libyan state, and following Tuareg separatist uprising. The fragility of the Sahel region, is cause for international concern.
Despite French intervention and the deployment of joint forces from five Sahel countries, terrorist groups still control a large part of this region and are increasingly influential in Burkina Faso and Niger.

Mali: Barkhane operation continues

The French General Staff informed about an operation carried out from 25 July to 3 August 2019  in Mali by Barkhane  and the Malian Armed Forces, underlining “the ability and determination of the Malian soldiers to fight alongside Barkhane“.

The 4,500 French troops deployed in former French colonies for ‘Operation Barkhane’ face huge logistical challenges in hostile terrain. The major difficulty is cooperation with a civilian population spread haphazardly across vast and remote spaces, often either sympathetic to the Islamists or terrified of informing about them.

In Gossi, a plagued by Islamic State fighters next to the borders with Burkina Faso and Niger, the town’s local government Councillor had fled after being threatened and found refuge in the Malian base, according to the French Commander.

Operation Barkhane was launched in the wake of Operation Serval, a French offensive that pushed back Tuareg rebels and allied Islamists from northern Mali’s vast desert in 2013.

While Serval had brought moderate stability to northern Mali, unrest had spread to the country’s more populated center, with attacks also reaching neighboring Burkina Faso, Niger and even Ivory Coast.

With no end date announced at its launch, the follow-up operation would try to stabilise countries in the region by assisting their governments in a West African anti-terrorism force. Five years on, no end is in sight.

“We have a dogged adversary, who is tough, drawing from a breeding ground that is favourable to him because the population is isolated,” Colonel Nicolas James, Commander of Desert Tactical Croup Belleface.

Today the radical Islam is actively exploiting modern means of communications, that is why patrol has to search not only for weapons, but also for propaganda in smartphones. When conducting operations, they have to screen the content of smartphones of locals to detect incriminating  jihad propaganda.

On a rare trip with the French troops into central Mali, Reuters journalists were searching for answers why a five-year-old mission, initially planned as a short-term operation to hand over to local forces, may have many more years left to run.

Back in 2018 the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, General François Lecointre said: “I do not think that it is possible to solve the problem in Mali in less than ten to fifteen years, if we can at all. The evolution of the situation in Mali is not satisfactory and we will not leave tomorrow, leaving it in stagnation“.

The Barkhane operation relays on €600 millions a year funding.

In spite of being ranked as the third largest in Africa resource of gold, Mali remains of the poorest countries in the world, dependent on international aid. Main gold mines, Sadiola and Morila still constitute the model, which is named “gold-dependent economy”, providing the state with more than a half of export revenue. The average wage in Mali is around a euro per day, and more than half of the population currently lives below poverty line.

 

UN staff killed in explosion

“The U.N. does not intend to evacuate from Libya,” the assistant secretary-general for peace operations, Bintou Keita, told the UN Security Council, which condemned the recent attack in Benghazi, Libya.

A car bomb explosion in Benghazi killed three U.N. staff members and two other mission members on, the United Nations said.The attack came as the United Nations was negotiating a truce in the capital Tripoli, where the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) force launched an military operation in April.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack, a spokesman said in a statement. 

The United Nations gave no further details, indicating some of its casualties had been members working in Benghazi, the. LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari told press two of those killed were guards with the U.N. Libya mission, and 10 people had been wounded, including young children.

The explosion happened in front of a crowded shopping mall and bank. One burned-out U.N. car could be seen in the street.

Around the time of the blast, LNA commander Khalifa Haftar announced a halt to military operations for 48 hours during the Muslim Eid al-Adha celebrations, which started on July 10.

Before the weekend, the government in Tripoli confirmed that they had already accepted a U.N. proposal for a ceasefire during the holiday.

EU stands by Egypt to defeat terrorism

“The European Union expresses its deepest condolences to the victims and their families and wishes a prompt recovery to those wounded in this act of terror”, the European External Action Service spokesperson said, reacting upon a car bomb explosion in Cairo on August 4, which has left at least 20 people dead, and many injured.

“The European Union stands side by side with Egypt in its efforts to defeat terrorism in the country”.

An explosion in Cairo was terrorist-related, Egypt‘s president Al Sisi said.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the Egyptian people and the families of the martyrs killed in the cowardly terrorist incident in the vicinity of the Kasr al-Aini area yesterday evening,” he wrote in his official social media account, paying tribute to victims.

EU expresses solidarity with Nigeria in aftermath of Badu massacre

More than 60 people have lost their lives after suspected Boko Haram militants opened fire at a funeral procession in Borno state, Nigeria.

Gunmen arrived on motorcycles and in vans at the village near the state capital, Maiduguri, during weekend eyewitnesses said.

A number of mourners were reportedly killed at spot while others died trying to chase off the attackers.

President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack, and ordered the air force and army to hunt down those who carried it out.

Local government official Muhammed Bulama expressed an opinion the latest attack was a revenge for the killing of 11 Boko Haram fighters by the villagers two weeks ago.

The EU stands united with the Nigerian government and people in the fight against terrorism. Together, we are determined to keep promoting and supporting cooperation among neighboring countries and communities to eradicate terrorism in all its forms. The EU’s recent participation at the 2nd Governors Forum held in Niamey on 17-18 July visible confirms this engagement” says the text of the statement attributed to European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson. “The EU has been present in the region and is delivering assistance to the population in need since the beginning of the Boko Haram insurgency.”

26 dead in Al-Shabaab Asasey hotel attack

A suicide bomber drove a car loaded with explosives into the Asasey hotel in the port of Kismayo, Somalia, followed by the gunmen, who stormed popular among travelers location. Radical Islam militants of al-Shabab have claimed the attack, the most devastating act of jihad in Kismayo since fighters were forced out in 2012. (Image above: illustration).

Famous TV presenter Hodan Naleyah (43), and her husband Farid were among the victims. A local politician, three Kenyans, three Tanzanians, two Americans and one Briton among the killed, the authorities confirmed.

Al-Shabab, affiliated to al Qaeda terrorist group, often uses car bombs to infiltrate heavily fortified targets like the hotel in Kismayo, which has enjoyed relative calm since 2012.

Al-Shabaab attacks hotel in Kismayo

A bomb attack in an hotel in Somalia port Kismayo has been revendicated by AlShabaab militants, Agence France presse (AFP) reports.

TV presenter Hodan (pictured) is announced among seven perished in the attack. The authorities said there are “at least” seven people killed, including Hodan and her husband.

A lethal blast occurred in Hotel Asasey in the heart of Kismayu, followed by gunfire. 

Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al-Shabaab military operation spokesman, said the militant group linked to al Qaeda, trying to overthrow Somalia’s central government, was behind the attack and that fighting was still going on.

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TV presenter Hodan moved from Canada back to Somalia inspired to communicate stories beyond war.

 

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