The booby-trapped body of a man captured and killed by jihadists last week exploded when relatives tried to bury it, killing 17 individuals and injuring many others.
It’s thought the citizen went to find grass for his cattle in a forest outside of Diankabou in Koro, located in the Mopti region of Mali. He never returned. Youssouf Aya, a national assembly representative for Koro, told the North South Journal, “He was shot dead by unidentified gunmen.”
Authorities discovered his body last Tuesday. The assumption is jihadists rigged his corpse with an improvised explosive device, and when relatives moved the body into the grave, the device detonated.
This attack is the first of its kind in Mali, but radical militants in neighboring Burkina Faso used an identical method. They rigged a body draped in military fatigues with explosives. Upon detonation, the blast murdered two law enforcement officers and an army doctor.
No group has come forward claiming these two attacks, which is unusual for terrorists in this region. It could be the group is embarrassed by the style of attack and doesn’t want the bad press.
Who are the attackers? I have no doubt this is the work of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. Not because we know them to be the lowest-of-the-low scumbags, but because members of al-Qaeda would respect a funeral of a fellow Muslim. We’ve known al-Qaeda action in this region to abide by a strict rule of war. Case and point: they released Jocelyn Elliott, the wife of kidnapped Australian doctor Ken Elliott, stating “they do not involve women in their war.”
Plus, al-Qaeda would release a statement after such a devastating attack to move the limelight away from the Islamic State.
If this is to be a new tactic employed in the region, we can expect to see the death toll rise over 2019.