Reports indicate that heavy gunfire was heard early on Friday morning at the main military facility outside of Mali’s capital Bamako until it subsided after about an hour. They suspect this was an attack by terrorists.
Helicopters circled above the Kati base, which is around 15 kilometres from Bamako, after the gunfire stopped around 6am on Friday.
Colonel Assimi Goita, the head of Mali’s ruling junta, sped out of his Kati home and toward Bamako in a convoy.
Despite the fact that Kati was the scene of successful coups in 2012 and 2020 as a result of mutinies, three camp residents who asked to remain anonymous reported that the soldiers did not seem to be fighting among themselves.
Throughout the country’s ten-year insurgency, militants affiliated with al Qaeda and the Islamic State have routinely targeted army bases, but never so close to the capital.
Late on Thursday, the army said that 15 people were injured and one soldier was killed when terrorists with ties to al Qaeda mounted coordinated operations against numerous military sites earlier in the day, several hundred kilometres north of Bamako.
An official from the presidency declined to comment, and the military spokesman for Mali was not immediately available for comment on Friday.
A gunfire at the Kati base served as the impetus for the August 2020 coup that brought Mali’s junta to power. In order to remove a civilian interim president who was at odds with Goita, it staged a second coup in 2021.
Goita thereafter assumed the presidency pro tempore. Up until elections in 2024, he intends to continue to serve as the head of a transitional administration.
His government has frequently clashed with regional allies and global powers over the postponement of elections, alleged abuses by the army, and collaboration with Russian mercenaries in the war against the insurgency.
The junta was unable to stop the insurgents from expanding their activities further south from their safe havens in the north and center, despite their campaign promises to put an end to the uprising.
Six persons were killed last week by unidentified armed men at a checkpoint 70 kilometres to the east of Bamako.
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