Two attacks by suspected al-Qaeda-linked militants in Mali on Thursday September 7, killed 64 people including dozens of civilians, the country’s transitional government has revealed .
The attacks on Thursday, targeted a passenger boat on the Niger River near Timbuktu and an army base in Bamba, in the northern Gao region, killing 49 civilians and 15 soldiers, according to the interim government’s statement.
According to a statement from the Malian Army, an “armed terrorist group” attacked the passenger boat at 11 a.m. local time near Rharous Cercle in the Timbuktu region.
The Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), a militant group associated with al Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The Sahara-Sahel region, of which Mali is a part, has seen an increase in violence in recent years as an Islamic insurgency brews near the borders of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.
Almost 9 million people need humanitarian assistance in the country. Earlier this month, UN agencies said 200,000 children were at risk of starvation.