On Sunday, 26 January, twenty Malian soldiers were killed in an attack on an army base near the village of Sokolo, about 400 kilometers north of the Mali capital Bamako. The attackers were presumably jihadists.
The attackers arrived on motorcycles, surprising the soldiers. It was more than two hours before reinforcements arrived, and the attackers escaped with military equipment.
With France already focusing its efforts on the Mali–Burkina Faso–Niger tri-border area, this new attack in the north raises worrying questions. A defense committee met on the same day to discuss its implications and whether it means the fight against Islamist terrorism is moving westward.