Unidentified militants riding motorcycles attacked Iboghilitane community (Ménaka region), some 45 km (28 mi) west of the town of Ménaka near the Nigerien border, killing at least 12 people on Saturday, October 13. Though no group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, local Tuareg leaders claim that the assault may have been launched on suspected Islamic State (IS) members in the town in retaliation for an attack that militants launched on Idarfane community in recent months. Similar attacks in the area are possible in the coming weeks.
Due to the presence of various armed groups, Mali's northern and central regions remain unstable despite the presence of MINUSMA, one of the largest UN peacekeeping missions in the world. According to a UN report released in September, at least 42 improvised explosive devices (IED) attacks had been carried out in the previous three months; more than a third of these occurred in central Mali.
The security environment in Mali remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
Due to the underlying terrorist and kidnapping threats prevalent in the country, all those present in Mali are advised to remain discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times (especially in local markets, now used by terrorists as recruitment grounds), and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
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