In the wake of devastating attacks by al-Qaida-linked insurgents that left 49 civilians and 15 soldiers dead, a military camp in Mali’s troubled north has come under fresh assault, further exacerbating the dire security situation in the region.

A military camp in Mali’s troubled northern region came under attack on Friday, just one day after a series of devastating assaults by Al-Qaida-linked insurgents resulted in the deaths of 49 civilians and 15 government soldiers, according to military sources.

The armed forces issued a brief statement last week regarding the attack on a Malian military camp in the Gao region, stating that response and evaluation efforts were underway. Thursday’s attacks were directed at a passenger boat near Timbuktu on the Niger River and a military position in Bamba, further downstream in Gao, according to a statement by the military junta, which was broadcast on state television. Responsibility for these attacks was claimed by JNIM (short for Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin), an umbrella coalition of armed groups aligned with Al-Qaida, who later issued a statement confirming their involvement in the assault on the military camp.

The Niger River is a vital transportation route in Mali, with insufficient road infrastructure. According to the United Nations Human Development Index, Mali currently ranks as the sixth least developed nation globally, with nearly half of its 22 million people living below the national poverty line. This dire situation is particularly acute in rural areas, where violent jihadi attacks have disrupted subsistence farming, often the only means of income for many.

Thursday’s attack targeted a passenger boat near the village of Zarho, approximately 90 kilometers (55 miles) east of Timbuktu. The government’s response resulted in the deaths of around 50 assailants. The Malian government declared three days of national mourning in honor of the civilians and soldiers killed in these attacks.