JNIM claims suicide assault on Malian military

JNIM’s suicide bomber, identified as “Tamim al Ansari,” who was utilized in the assault on the Tarkint base.

In a statement released earlier today, Al Qaeda’s Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM), which operates in West Africa and the wider Sahel, claimed Tuesday’s suicide assault on a Malian military base in the northern town of Tarkint. A photo of the purported suicide bomber was also released.

“Continuing in its campaign against the occupying crusaders and their allies from the foreign occupying forces and the criminal Malian military, a unit from JNIM launched an attack on the criminal Malian military base in Tarkint, 160km north of the city of Gao,” JNIM’s statement begins.

It then proceeds to detail the operation, saying a suicide bomber, identified as Tamim al Ansari [indicating he is a local Malian], detonated his vehicle near the base before an assault team entered the fray. JNIM says that “several were killed or wounded,” which was largely confirmed by the Malian military itself.

In a statement released by the Malian military, it confirmed that two soldiers were indeed killed in the assault while a further 10 were wounded.

The suicide assault is a common tactic of JNIM, its constituent members and various jihadist groups around the world. This tactic was recently utilized by JNIM in its attack on the UN base in the northern Malian town of Aguelhok.

JNIM statement today is a continuation of a series of claimed attacks on the Malian military, the Burkinabe military, and UN troops inside Mali over the span of 10 days.

These assaults demonstrate that JNIM continues to be resilient in the face of Malian troops, a French-led counterterrorism mission, a UN peacekeeping force and a deployment of troops from the G5 Sahel.

Caleb Weiss is an editor of FDD's Long War Journal and a senior analyst at the Bridgeway Foundation, where he focuses on the spread of the Islamic State in Central Africa.

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