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An ISIS-affiliated terrorist group killed roughly 30 people during an attack in Mali last week, according to a coalition of militias that were forced out of the area.
The Platform, a pro-government coalition of militias, says they were attacked by hundreds of ISIS-allied militants on Tuesday in Mali’s Gao region, according to Reuters. The assault left three Platform fighters dead, along with roughly 30 civilians.
“Reinforcements dispatched by the Platform reached the town where they discovered the massacre as well as hundreds of women and children who had been wandering the town without food for two days,” the Platform wrote in a statement.
The group says militants also burned food stores and looted shops, according to Reuters.
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The assault comes weeks after French troops withdrew from Mali, a country some have referred to as “Africa’s Afghanistan.”
The country saw 2,700 deaths in the first six months of 2022. France had maintained a group of 5,100 peacekeeping troops in the region but withdrew in mid-August due to anti-European sentiment.
Mali is currently run by a military junta, which seized power via a coup in 2021. The government refused airspace rights to Germany’s UN aircraft, leading the country to severely limit its operations in the region as well.
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Meanwhile, Russia’s Wagner mercenary group has moved into the country, flaunting shipments of weapons the same day French troops left the country.