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Iran Press TV

Two soldiers killed in roadside bomb attack in central Mali

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 22 January 2020 3:15 PM

At least two Malian soldiers have been killed and two others wounded by a roadside bomb in the latest wave of violence to hit volatile central Mali.

Mali army colonel Diarran Kone said on Wednesday that the soldiers were travelling to the town of Douentza, in the central region of Mopti, on Tuesday when their vehicle struck the bomb.

"The route we took was mined. My life was saved because I was (sitting) behind," one of the wounded troops told AFP.

Since 2012, Mali has been in a persisting conflict after Takfiri terrorists hijacked an uprising by Tuareg people, a large Berber ethnic confederation living across the Sahara Desert, in the north.

The French military then intervened militarily.

During the past seven years, the violence has moved to central Mali, from where Takfiri terrorists launch attacks across the Sahel region.

Outfits affiliated with al-Qaeda and Daesh Takfiri terrorist groups have used central and northern Mali as a launch pad for growing numbers of attacks across the Sahel region, especially on neighbors Niger and Burkina Faso, despite the presence of 4,500 French troops, who help the Malian army to push back militants.

In November last year, at least 13 French troopers were killed in a helicopter crash during an operation against militants in Mali.

Malians have also become increasingly frustrated with the failure of the authorities to end the frequent attacks by militant groups, as well as increasing tit-for-tat ethnic killings between farmers and herders, which have also surged this year.

Planting bombs under well-traveled roads is a favorite tactic of militants operating in the Sahel. Otherwise known as improvised explosive devices, they kill and maim scores of victims every year in Mali. Mali's army is equipping itself with armored vehicles in order to counter the threat, however.

On September 14, 2019, the West African regional group ECOWAS announced a billion-dollar plan to help fund the military operations of the nations involved. But efforts by the G5 have been hampered by insufficient funding, training and equipment.

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