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ICC Note:  An Islamic attack in a central Mali town that claimed the lives of 10 people highlights the increasing Jihadi aggression in Mali.  The assaults were carried out against both government and U.N. peacekeeping forces.  The resurgence in Islamic extremism throughout Mali is a major cause for concern for Christians living in the country.    

By Baba Ahmed and Carley Petesch, Associated Press

8/08/15, Bamako, Mali (AP) – The first attack by Islamic extremists in a central Mali town, in which 10 people died, shows that jihadist aggressions are spreading in the country and hitting more directly at the government military and the U.N. peacekeeping force, an expert said Saturday.

Three of the attackers also were killed, and seven suspected militants were detained, the government said. Four U.N. employees were rescued.

Additional U.N. personnel may still be missing, said a U.N. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of lack of authorization to speak to the press.

The militants first targeted the army camp in Sevare on Friday but when they faced resistance they moved to the nearby Hotel Debo before assaulting the Hotel Byblos, popular with U.N. staff, to take hostages, said a Mali government report, according to the U.N. official.

Sevare, a garrison town about 600 kilometers (375 miles) northeast of the capital, Bamako, is at the heart of Mali’s tourism industry and up until now had not been targeted in the attacks more common in the northern towns of Gao and Timbuktu.

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