Policeman killed by suspected jihadists in southern Mali

policeSuspected jihadists killed a policeman in a rare attack in southern Mali on Wednesday, hoisting their flag at the local military base, government and security sources told AFP.

A minister said the “cowardly terrorists” killed the warrant officer in Misseni, near the border with Ivory Coast, while a local councillor said “30 jihadists” had briefly occupied the town’s army camp and killed a policeman.

The councillor said the militants arrived at 2:00 am (0200 GMT), adding: “I heard gunshots in the Misseni military camp. The jihadists were shouting ‘Allahu Akbar (God is greatest).’

“They took control of the military camp where they put up their black flag.”

The militants opened fire on the Misseni police, killing the officer before escaping, the source added.

A Malian security source confirmed the policeman’s death, adding that “the terrorist jihadists led an organised attack”.

“Some say they came from Burkina Faso but they probably came from Ivory Coast because Misseni is 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the Ivorian border,” the source added.

“They covered part of the distance in a vehicle, and another part on motorcycles and on foot.”

A source at the Misseni police headquarters said the officer was “shot dead” while two Malian army vehicles and police motorcycles were set alight.

A local military source told AFP the army was sending back-up from Sikasso, the regional capital.

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