Mali troops kill four jihadists
Soldiers in central Mali killed four suspected jihadists who slit the throat of a civilian they thought was a military informer, the army has announced.
"The terrorists slit the throat of a civilian on Wednesday" at Boudjiguire village, suspecting him of "passing information to the Malian army", a military statement said late Thursday.
Soldiers pursued the four armed men fleeing in a vehicle which overturned, forcing them "to hide in a forest", where they were killed. None of the soldiers was injured, the statement said.
Groups of Islamic extremists linked to Al-Qaeda took control of the desert north of Mali in March and April 2012 at the expense of Tuareg rebels, but were chased out of Sahara towns by a French-led military operation launched in January 2013, which is still under way.
Mali's army, French soldiers and a UN mission (MINUSMA) have no control of large tracts of the country, which regularly come under attack in spite of a peace accord signed with Tuareg leaders in May and June 2015, aimed at isolating the jihadists.
Since 2015, jihadist attacks have spread to the centre and south of Mali and latterly to neighbouring countries, particularly Burkina Faso and Niger.