49 Soldiers Killed In Mali Attack

 

A “terrorist attack” on a military post in strife-torn northeastern Mali has left 49 soldiers dead, the army said Saturday, revising downward an earlier death toll.

The assault on Friday at Indelimane, in the Menaka region, close to the border with Niger, was one of the deadliest strikes against Mali’s military in a region wracked by Islamist violence.

The Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) “have recorded 49 dead, three wounded and material damage, and some 20 survivors have been recovered,” it said on its Facebook page on Saturday.

“The situation is under FAMa control.”

The government on Friday had said 53 people died in what it described as a “terrorist attack.”

No group immediately claimed responsibility.

An army officer said troops arrived at the outpost around 5pm on Friday and “took back control of our positions.

“The terrorists carried out a surprise attack at lunchtime. Army vehicles were destroyed, others taken away,” he told AFP.

The army and the government announced Friday that reinforcements were sent to the area.

The attacks comes a month after two jihadist assaults killed 40 soldiers near the border with Burkina Faso. However several sources said the death toll had been underestimated.

Mali’s army has been struggling in the face of a jihadist revolt that has spread from the arid north to its centre, an ethnically mixed and volatile region.

The recent assaults are also a humiliation for the so-called G5 Sahel force — a much-trumpeted initiative under which five countries created a joint 5,000-man anti-terror force — and for France, which is committed to shoring up the fragile region.

Northern Mali came under the control of Al-Qaeda linked jihadists after Mali’s army failed to quash a rebellion there in 2012.

A French-led military campaign was launched against the jihadists, pushing them back a year later.

But the jihadists have regrouped and widened their hit-and-run raids and landmine attacks to central and southern Mali.

The violence has also spilled over into Burkina Faso and Niger where extremists have exploited existing inter-communal strife, leaving hundreds dead.

Update: 35 Soldiers Killed On Attack In Mali Military Post

 

Thirty-five soldiers were killed Friday in a “terrorist attack” on a Mali military post in the northeast of the country, the army said.

“The provisional death toll has risen to 35 deaths,” it said on Facebook late Friday, adding that the situation is “under control”.

An investigation into the attack on the outpost in Indelimane in the Menaka region is ongoing, it said.

The attack came a month after two jihadist assaults killed 40 soldiers near the border with Burkina Faso, one of the deadliest strikes against Mali’s military in recent Islamist militant violence.

READ ALSO: Ten Killed In Mozambique Jihadist Attack – Witnesses

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Friday’s assault.

The Malian government earlier condemned the “terrorist attack,” saying it had left numerous dead or wounded but without giving a precise toll.

It said reinforcements had been rushed to the area to boost security and track down the attackers.

Northern Mali came under the control of Al-Qaeda linked jihadists after Mali’s army failed to quash a rebellion there in 2012. A French-led military campaign was launched against the jihadists, pushing them back a year later.

But the jihadists have regrouped and widened their hit-and-run raids and landmine attacks to central and southern Mali.

The violence has also spilt over into Burkina Faso and Niger where militants have exploited existing inter-communal strife.

AFP

15 Soldiers Killed After Attack On Mali Military Post – Army

 

Fifteen soldiers were killed Friday in a “terrorist attack” on a Mali military post in the northeast of the country, the army said.

The attack on the outpost in Indelimane in the Menaka region left 15 troops dead according to a provisional death toll, the army said on Twitter.

The attack came a month after two jihadist assaults killed 40 soldiers near the border with Burkina Faso, one of the deadliest strikes against Mali’s military in recent Islamist militant violence.

Friday’s attack resulted in “injuries and material damage” to the camp and reinforcements have been dispatched to the Indelimane area, according to the army.

Some Malian soldiers were also declared missing during the attack, a military source told AFP.

No group immediately claimed responsibility.

Northern Mali came under the control of Al-Qaeda linked jihadists after Mali’s army failed to quash a rebellion there in 2012. A French-led military campaign was launched against the jihadists, pushing them back a year later.

But the jihadists have regrouped and widened their hit-and-run raids and landmine attacks to central and southern Mali.

The violence has also spilled over into Burkina Faso and Niger where militants have exploited existing inter-communal strife.

Dozen Soldiers Killed In Burkina Faso Terrorist Attack

Burkina Faso on the map.

 

More than a dozen soldiers were killed on Monday during a “major attack” by “terrorist armed groups” in northern Burkina Faso, the country’s army said.

“The military detachment of the Koutougou department in Soum province was the target of an attack,” said a statement from the armed forces general staff. “A provisional report states that more than a dozen soldiers were killed, and several were wounded.”

AFP

Nine Wounded In Yemen Rebel Attack On Saudi Airport – Coalition

 

A Yemeni rebel attack on a civilian airport in southern Saudi Arabia wounded nine civilians Tuesday, a Riyadh-led coalition said, the latest in a series of strikes on the site.

“The terrorist attack on Abha airport… led to the injury of nine civilians, including eight Saudi citizens and one carrying an Indian passport,” the military coalition said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Earlier, the Iran-aligned Huthi rebels said they “launched a wide operation targeting warplanes at Abha international airport” with drones, according to their Al-Masira television channel.

The United States, a close ally of Riyadh which has backed its controversial war in Yemen, condemned the attack and said it was carried out with “Iranian-made weapons and technology”.

“These attacks are risking the lives of many and injuring innocent civilians,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

“We call for an immediate end to these violent actions, which only exacerbate the conflict in Yemen and deepen mistrust,” she said.

The rebels in Yemen — who have faced persistent coalition bombing since March 2015 which has exacted a heavy civilian death toll — have stepped up missile and drone attacks across the border in recent weeks.

On June 12, a rebel missile attack on Abha airport wounded 26 civilians, drawing promises of “stern action” from the coalition.

And on June 23, another rebel attack on Abha airport killed a Syrian national and wounded 21 other civilians, according to the coalition.

The Huthis said on Tuesday they will “not hesitate” to launch operations against Saudi Arabia and the coalition, adding they have a new missile system.

“Our forces are capable of targeting a number of targets simultaneously and with different weapons,” said a Huthi spokesman during a televised press conference.

He said targets include oil pipelines and facilities.

The raids come amid heightened regional tensions after Washington accused Iran of shooting down a US drone over international waters and of carrying out attacks on oil tankers in the strategic Gulf of Oman.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly accused Iran of supplying sophisticated weapons to Huthi rebels, a charge Tehran denies.

Following recent attacks, Saudi state media have reported an intensification of coalition air raids on rebel positions in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah and the Huthi-held capital Sanaa.

The coalition intervened in support of the Yemeni government in 2015 when President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi fled into Saudi exile as the rebels closed in on his last remaining territory in and around the second city Aden.

Since then, the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, many of them civilians, relief agencies say.

The fighting has triggered what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with millions of people displaced and in need of aid.

Australian Police Treating Melbourne Stabbing As Terror Attack

A police officer inspects a body at the crime scene following a stabbing incident in Melbourne on November 9, 2018.  WILLIAM WEST / AFP

 

Australian police on Friday said they are now treating a deadly knife attack in Melbourne as an act of terror, adding that the suspect was originally from Somalia and was known to intelligence authorities.

“We are now treating this as a terrorist event,” said Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, adding that the suspect is “someone that is known to us” and had been travelling in a 4×4 packed with gas bottles.

AFP

25 Students Killed In Afgan’s Bomb Blast

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani speaks during a press conference at Presidential Palace in Kabul on June 30, 2018. Credit: AFP

 

At least 25 people, many believed to be students, were killed when a suicide blast ripped through a school in a Shiite area of Kabul Wednesday, officials said, the latest assault on Afghanistan’s war-weary capital.

The attacker appeared to target the Mawoud education centre, which specialises in preparing students for university exams in the western part of the city, officials said.

“We can confirm the attack was caused by a suicide bomber on foot. The bomber detonated himself inside the education centre,” police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said.

The spokesmen for the interior ministry and health ministries both confirmed that at least 25 people were killed and 35 injured.

It was not clear how many students were at the centre at the time of the attack. One witness, another student named Ali Ahmad, said as many as 100 students may have been inside when the bomber struck, but officials have not yet confirmed the figure.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which was swiftly condemned by President Ashraf Ghani in a statement.

Both the Taliban and the Islamic State group (IS) have carried out devastating, high-profile attacks in Kabul in recent months, but the Taliban quickly denied they were involved.

Grinding conflict 

Afghanistan has been reeling from a recent upsurge in militant violence, including a massive, days-long Taliban onslaught on the eastern city of Ghazni.

Analysts have said the assault on Ghazni was a military and psychological victory against the government in Kabul, proving the insurgents have the strength to strike a strategically vital city near the capital at will and remain entrenched there for days.

At least 100 security forces were killed in the fight for Ghazni, officials have said, with unconfirmed fears that at least as many civilians died.

Afghan security forces, beset by killings, desertions and low morale, have taken staggering losses since US-led NATO combat forces pulled out at the end of 2014.

But it is ordinary Afghans who have taken the brunt of the violence in the grinding conflict, especially in Kabul, which the United Nations has said is the deadliest place for civilians in the country.

Militant attacks and suicide bombs were the leading causes of civilian deaths in the first half of 2018, a recent UN report showed.

The uptick in violence comes as US and Afghan forces intensify ground and air offensives against the Islamic State (IS), and the Taliban step up their turf war with the group.

The Taliban have not claimed a major assault in Kabul for weeks.

IS, however, has carried out multiple attacks in the eastern city of Jalalabad and the capital in recent months, targeting everything from government ministries to a midwife training centre.

The group has also increasingly targeted the Shiite minority in gruesome sectarian attacks at the sect’s mosques and gatherings.

Earlier this month, IS claimed responsibility for twin blasts at a mosque in the eastern city of Gardez that killed at least 35 people.

AFP

Six Killed In Burkina Faso’s Suspected Terrorist Attack

Burkina Faso on the map.

 

Six people, five of them police, were killed in a “terrorist attack” in eastern Burkina Faso, the defence ministry said late Monday.

Five people — four gendarmes and a civilian — were killed on Saturday when their vehicle struck a mine about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Fada N’Gourma, the chief town in the east of the Sahel country, it said in a statement.

A sixth person, also a gendarme, was killed later in a shootout with the assailants.

The attack happened while their convoy was returning from escorting a mission to a mining complex at Boungou, the ministry said.

“The lead vehicle hit a mine. The rest of the convoy came under heavy fire,” it said.

Burkina Faso has been battling an escalating wave of jihadist attacks over the last three years, beginning in the north of the country but now spreading to the east, near the border with Togo and Benin.

The security forces have carried out a series of arrests in recent months, detaining hundreds of people in connection with the attacks.

AFP

Security Operatives Die In Suspected Terrorist Attack

 

Six members of Tunisia’s security forces were killed Sunday in a “terrorist attack” near the border with Algeria, the interior ministry said, updating an earlier toll.

A national guard border patrol in the Ain Sultan area of the Jenduba border province “was hit in a landmine ambush that killed six agents”, the ministry said.

It said the attack took place at 11:45 am (1045 GMT).

Ministry spokesman General Sufyan al-Zaq said the blast was a “terrorist attack” and that assailants had “opened fire on security forces” after the mine exploded.

“Combing operations” were underway, said Zaq, who earlier told AFP that eight guards had been killed.

The attack, for which there was no immediate claim of responsibility, comes as Tunisia prepares for the summer tourist season.

Since its 2011 revolution, jihadist attacks in Tunisia have killed dozens of members of the security forces and 59 foreign tourists.

The country has been under a state of emergency since November 2015 when a suicide bombing in Tunis claimed by the Islamic State group killed 12 presidential guards.

AFP

Trump Criticises London Mayor’s Comments Over Terrorist Attack

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, US ElectionU.S. President, Donald Trump has reacted to the militant attack in London which killed seven people, quoting London Mayor, Sadiq Khan telling Britons not to be alarmed, in what appeared to be a criticism of Khan’s response to the incident.

“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!” Trump tweeted.

Earlier, Khan had said Britons should not be alarmed to see a higher police presence on the streets of London following the incident.

Last year Khan was elected mayor of the city to become the first Muslim to head a major Western capital.

Read Also: Seven Killed, 40 Injured In London Terrorist Attack

Seven Killed, 40 Injured In London Terrorist Attack

About seven people have been killed at London Bridge in the first of multiple incidents in central London on Saturday.

Also, over 40 persons were injured after a van hit pedestrians, before three men got out and stabbed people in nearby Borough Market.

‘Cowardly Terrorists’

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan has said he is “appalled” and “furious” over the attack.

In comments on Sunday morning, he called the attackers “cowardly terrorists” and however, praised the quick response by the city’s Metropolitan Police.

Police Hunting For Istanbul Attack Suspect

turkey-policePolice in Istanbul are hunting for a gunman who opened fire at a well-known nightclub, killing at least 39 people.

The attack happened at Reina nightclub early on Sunday, as people gathered to mark the new year.

According to the BBC, officials say some 15 foreigners were killed, including citizens from Israel, France, Tunisia, Lebanon, India, Belgium, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

The attacker left his gun before “taking advantage of the chaos” and fleeing the scene, Turkey’s PM said.

Binali Yildirim also confirmed the gunman was not dressed as Santa Claus, contradicting earlier reports.

The attack unfolded some 75 minutes into the new year as around 700 people gathered in the waterside Reina club, one of Istanbul’s most upmarket venues.

The attacker shot dead a policeman and a security guard at the entrance before heading into the club, which is popular with celebrities and foreigners.

Eyewitnesses described seeing dozens of bodies lying on the floor. Some revellers reportedly threw themselves into the Bosphorus to escape the carnage.

A professional footballer, Sefa Boydas, told AFP news agency that people appeared to be crushed as they ran away. “They say 35 to 40 died but it’s probably more because when I was walking, people were walking on top of people.”

According to CNN, an eyewitness, Yunis Turk, explained after police secured the Reina nightclub: “We were having fun, at first we thought it was a fight then there was a lot of gunfire.

“After the gunfire everyone started to run toward the terrace. We ran as well. There was someone next to me who was shot and fell on the floor. We ran away and hid under the sofas.

turkey-gun-attack
Flowers have been laid outside the nightclub

Some people jumped into the Bosporus, he said, a testament to the panic that engulfed the nightspot – it is freezing in Istanbul but people were willing to leap into the frigid water to escape the panic.

“For ten minutes there was gunfire and then for another five minutes they were throwing bombs, fired a bit more, then left,” Turk recalled.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmus, also told CNN that the attacker was a lone assailant and that the authorities “are trying hard” to identify and apprehend the person in order to investigate any ties to terror groups.

In his new year message, Pope Francis condemned the shooting, describing it as unfortunate.

“Unfortunately, violence has once again struck on this night of hope and dreams.

“With sadness, I express my solidarity with the Turkish people.

“I pray for the numerous victims and injured and for all countries at war,” the Pope said.

Residents have continued to lay flowers outside the nightclub.