The commander of a new five-nation counterterror force in West Africa says an attack is underway on its headquarters in Mali’s central town of Sevare. Gen Didier Dacko tells The Associated Press the attack began with a car explosion, and fighting continues. He spoke from Niger. This is the first time the G5 headquarters has been targeted.
A number of extremist groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group are active in Mali, often attacking local security forces and a UN peacekeeping mission.
The 5,000-strong counterterror force launched last year and includes Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger and Mauritania. It has received millions of dollars in backing from the European Union, Saudi Arabia and others.
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