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Two customs officers killed in Mali 'jihadist' attack

AFP  |  Bamako 

Two Malian customs officers have been killed in a suspected jihadist attack at a market in the small village of Toubakoro, security sources told AFP today.

"Two customs officers were killed, a terrorist too," according to one source.

The attackers arrived in Toubakoro, some 200 kilometres north of the capital Bamako, on motorcycles and were armed, said another source, adding that, "there was a great panic in the village".

"The jihadists were well informed about the comings and goings of the security forces," said an elected representative who was near the market at the time.

"The jihadists fired at a customs vehicle," he added.

Islamic extremists linked to Al-Qaeda took control of the desert north of Mali in early 2012, but were largely driven out by a French-led military operation launched in January 2013.

However, large tracts of the country remain lawless and jihadists have continued to carry out attacks against civilians and security forces.

Newly-appointed Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga said earlier this month that "urgent measures" were required to address Al-Qaeda-linked groups.

Defence sources have told AFP that the military aims to deploy some 1,000 soldiers to take back control of the country's restive centre.

French forces are still operating in Mali as part of Operation Barkhane, an offensive deployed in five countries -- Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso.

These countries form the so-called G5 Sahel force, a French-supported group that aims to combat jihadists in the region.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 25 2018. 03:00 IST