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At least nine killed in attack in central Mali | News

The attack took place at an airfield near Sevare, where Malian troops, UN peacekeepers and Russian Wagner fighters were present.

At least nine people have been killed and dozens wounded in an attack near a military camp and airport in central Mali.

More than 60 people were injured in a bomb attack early Saturday in the town of Sevare in the Mopti region, Yacouba Maiga, spokesman for the region’s governor, told Reuters.

“The explosion destroyed about 20 nearby houses. A total of nine people were killed and about 60 were injured, all civilians,” Mecca said.

Images shared on social media showed several buildings, including a gas station destroyed by the blast, and wounded people being helped.

Earlier on Saturday, the West African government said in a statement on state television that the army prevented a “terrorist attack” in Sevare.

“Three vehicles loaded with explosives were destroyed by military drone fire,” the statement said, without giving further details on casualties.

“Sophisticated attack”

Al Jazeera’s Nicola Hack reported from Dakar, Senegal, that the attack happened at 5am (05:00GMT), when most residents were asleep.

He added that the government described the incident as a “sophisticated attack” at Sévaré airport, home to a Malian security force base, UN peacekeepers and Russian fighters from the Wagner Group.

“No one has claimed responsibility for the attack,” he said, adding that the region’s governor had asked residents to donate blood urgently because of the high number of casualties.

The attack came days after ISIL and al-Qaeda-affiliated groups were reported to have taken control of parts of the area.

Lassane Ouedraogo Wedraogo, a Sahel researcher at the Center for Democracy and Development, said the attack was likely targeting Wagnerian mercenaries stationed at the camp.

He said it was difficult to identify the group responsible for the attack because of the many armed groups active in the area.

“But so far, everything points to the JNIM group because that’s the type of attack they would carry out,” he said, using the Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin group’s acronym, adding that they had recently criticized the presence of terrorist groups in Mali. Wagner troops.

Wagner mercenaries who were deployed to Mali and the Central African Republic are also currently fighting in Russia’s war against Ukraine.

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