This Friday, July 22, as the sun was barely rising over the Malian capital, heavy gunfire was heard in the garrison town of Kati, located about fifteen kilometers from Bamako. Around 5 a.m., at least one explosion sounded in the military camp which is the stronghold of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta’s killers.
According to the Malian army, it was the explosion of two car bombs. According to various military sources, the attack was “complex” with, in addition to these vehicle bombs, mortar fire and assailants on the ground.
At the time of the facts, thePresident Assimi Goïta, who lives in Kati, was at the garrison – a place where military equipment is stored – a few kilometers from the camp. But his Defense Minister, Colonel Sadio Camara, was present in Kati. According to our information, the two men, who are still there, are safe but the impacts have caused significant material damage. The provisional report communicated by the Malian army reports two deaths among the attackers. Some sources also mention casualties on the side of the military, information that is difficult to verify immediately. In the morning, columns of smoke still rose in the sky.
As a security measure, at the time of the attack, the order was given to close the Modibo Keïta-Senou international airport, which then reopened, and the personnel of Koulouba, the presidential palace, were released. At the end of the morning, a certain calm had returned to Kati as to Bamako. Army helicopters flew over the capital and checkpoints were set up there, especially in front of the ministerial city and the main communication axes.
Mali: what we know about the imbroglio around the arrested Ivorian soldiers
The terrorist hypothesis
Where did the attack come from and who are the perpetrators? Is it the work of a terrorist group? Is this a new putsch attempt carried out by disgruntled soldiers ? According to our information, investigations are underway to shed light on the events.
At the end of the morning, the Malian Armed Forces (Famas) affirmed “that a terrorist attack” carried out with two “trapped vehicles stuffed with explosives” had been “repelled”.
The Malian Armed Forces vigorously repelled a terrorist attack on the Kati barracks. It was early this morning around 05:00 with 02 vehicle bombs packed with explosives.
— Malian Armed Forces (@FAMa_DIRPA) July 22, 2022
At this point, several sources claim that the attack could be linked to the one that occurred on July 21, in Kolokani (about a hundred kilometers north of Bamako) where a unit of the Special Anti-Terrorist Force Forsat was attacked .
According to a press release from the General Staff of the Armed Forces, “complex and simultaneous attacks” targeted the detachment of the anti-terrorist force of the territorial brigade of the gendarmerie. Two Malian soldiers were killed in these clashes and three were injured.
Mali: who really is Assimi Goïta, “Mister No”
However, the authorities do not rule out that the attack was an attempted coup, a source close to the colonels told us. VSn recent months, discontent has been palpable among certain Malian officers who do not share the strategic choices of Assimi Goïta’s junta – in particular collaboration with the Russian private security group Wagner. On May 11, the authorities announced that they had foiled an attempt to overthrow the regime and arrested Colonel Amadou Keïta, a close associate of the President of the National Transitional Council. (CNT), Malick Diaw.