On Tuesday, July 28, clashes occurred between militant groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida and the Islamic State in Ndaki (Tombouctou region). According to media sources, militants from the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) and the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (JNIM) clashed for several hours in the area resulting in at least 14 ISGS fighters killed and four members detained by the JNIM. Reports suggest that the ISGS fighters retreated to Ndaki, 200km (124 mi) southwest of Gao (Gao region), at around 19:00 (local time).
Further fighting between militants, and with security forces, are likely in the region in the medium term.
Several armed groups operate in areas of central Mali as well as in the northern region. Most groups are affiliated with Al-Qa'ida - under the JNIM umbrella - or the Islamic State group. Tensions are further exacerbated by strong underlying ethnic divides.
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.
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