Islamic militants launched an attack on the military headquarters of the G5 Sahel task force in the town of Mopti, central Mali on Friday.
According to reports from Reuters, the militants killed at least six people and wounded several others using a combination of car bombs, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms.
“The attackers fired rockets at the headquarters and some of them infiltrated the compound. There was an exchange of fire,” said G5 military spokesman Boubacar Diallo while speaking to Reuters.
The G5 Sahel task force is made up of roughly 5,000 soldiers from five different African countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. It was established in 2017 by the French government with support from several other countries.
The task force’s mission is to destroy Islamic terrorist groups in the Sahel region and bring peace and security to the remote area. Violent Islamic terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and ISIS- West Africa all have a significant presence in the region.
The task force is funded by contributions from foreign countries including the United States, Canada, France and other countries within the European Union. Several countries also have troops on the ground in advisory and support roles. It is separate from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.
According to a report from the Associated Press, this is the first time the G5 military headquarters has been targeted. Islamic terrorists in the region, however, have attacked U.S. troops and U.N. peacekeepers in the past.