Mali, foreign military bases attacked

BAMAKO (AFP) – Suspected militants attacked several Malian and foreign military bases with mortars and rockets in the north of the country yesterday, military sources said.

No casualties were immediately reported in the attacks on Menaka, Gao and Kidal in what appeared to be a rare attempt at a coordinated assault on foreign forces operating in the troubled west African country.

“There were no casualties, but there was some material damage,” a Malian military official told AFP.

Mali is struggling with an insurgency that first erupted in the north but has since spread to the centre of the country and spilled over into neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

French military forces have around 5,000 troops in the Sahel as part of their anti-extremist Operation Barkane, and thousands United Nations (UN) peacekeepers are also operating in Mali.

The European Takuba task force also includes special operations troops from several countries that advise and assist Malian forces.