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Chief of staff of Mali’s transition president among 4 killed in ambush

Four people, including the chief of staff of Mali’s transition president, were killed in an attack on a government convoy, the presidency announced on Thursday.

Warrant Officer Oumar Traore, the chief of staff of Colonel Assimi Goita, and others were killed in an ambush on Tuesday near the town of Nara in Koulikoro region close to the Mauritanian border – some 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of the capital Bamako, according to a statement.

“With deep sorrow we announce that the delegation of social works of the President of the Transition, head of state, was ambushed in a locality near Nara,” the statement said.

Three other victims included a security guard, a contractor and a driver, according to the statement.

The convoy was reportedly accompanying engineers to map water drilling sites.

The funeral of the victims was set to take place on Thursday in Kati, a garrison town near Bamako.

Mali witnessed two subsequent coups – in August 2020 and May 2021.

The junta had initially promised to hold elections in February 2022, but later changed it.

Since 2012, the West African country has been battling growing violence orchestrated by militants in northern and central regions, targeting both soldiers and civilians.

There has been an increase in terrorist attacks in the central regions of the country this year, according to a UN report released earlier this month.

At least 206 people were killed and 80 others injured between January and March 2023, the report presented to the UN Security Council showed.

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