On Saturday, April 14, militants disguised as peacekeepers attacked the UN MINUSMA and Barkhane camp in Timbuktu (Tombouctou region). Several rockets and mortars were fired at the base before two suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (SVBIEDs), in vehicles previously stolen from the Malian and UN forces, detonated in the area. One peacekeeper was killed, and seven others injured in the attack. Seven French soldiers were also injured. At least 15 assailants were killed. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombings as of Monday, April 16.
Furthermore, on Sunday, April 15, unidentified armed men ambushed two transport vehicles en route to Diré (Tombouctou region) from Mopti (Mopti region), abducting the passengers before releasing all but one police officer identified among them. An investigation is ongoing.
Due to the presence of various armed groups, Mali's northern and central regions remain unstable despite a French-led intervention launched in 2013 that drove many extremists from their strongholds. France maintains approximately 4000 troops stationed throughout the Sahel, in addition to the presence of local military troops.
The security environment in Mali remains complex, particularly in the north and central regions. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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