Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard very early, shortly after 5am GMT on Friday 22 July in the garrison town of Kati near Bamako. Malian armed forces have announced that they have repelled a terrorist attack. The provisional report is that one person was killed and six injured.
Mali’s main military base and stronghold of the ruling military junta, the town of Kati was the scene of a terrorist attack in the morning of Friday 22 July. It started with a first explosion just a few minutes after 5 a.m. that targeted part of the camp. According to witnesses, a second explosion was soon heard followed by heavy gunfire. Another resident says that the attacks are directed at junta officials.
Several other witnesses also reported seeing at least two helicopters in the sky. “Shortly afterwards, the situation returned to normal. The area is under the control of the Malian army, patrols are everywhere in the town and the entrance to the camp is blocked,” they say.
The Malian armed forces attribute the attack to the Macina Katiba.
In a statement issued in the afternoon, the Malian army pointed the finger at members of the Macina Katiba, an al-Qaeda affiliated movement, for being behind the “kamikaze” actions. According to the same statement, the assault was carried out with “2 vehicle bombs“. The latest provisional report shows one dead and six injured, including one civilian, on the side of the Fama. 7 assailants were neutralised and 8 were arrested.
Six other attacks bore the fingerprints of the Macina Katiba, a group linked to al-Qaeda.
This is the first attack recorded in the garrison town and comes just 24 hours after six other simultaneous attacks in the centre of the country and in the Koulikoro region. During these attacks, members of the al-Qaeda affiliated Macina Katiba attacked several police stations and military camps.
It should be noted that these events also come at a time when the ECOWAS special correspondent for Mali, Good Luck Jonathan, is in Bamako. After having exchanged yesterday with part of the political class and the Minister of Territorial Administration, he was to meet this Friday with the President of the transition, Colonel Assimi Goïta.