24 Mali soldiers, 17 militants die in clashes Nov 20, 2019 0 1003 12345 AFPBamako,Twenty-four Malian soldiers and 17 jihadists fighters were killed in clashes in the east of the country, the army said, as security in the west African nation deteriorates further.Mali and Niger forces were carrying out a joint operation when a patrol was attacked on Monday by “terrorists” near the northeastern town of Tabankort, the army said on social media.According to the military the total toll was “24 dead, 29 injured and material damage” while 17 of the jihadists were killed and a hundred more suspects captured. The prisoners are in the hands of Niger soldiers, the statement said.In an earlier statement, which gave a lower death toll, the army said French and Niger forces took part in a counterattack.Monday’s action was another heavy loss for the army, which lost a hundred soldiers in two jihadist attacks in a month in the autumn.Northern Mali fell into the hands of jihadists in 2012 before the militants were forced out by a French-led military intervention.Since then, however, the border regions of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso have become the theatre of repeated clashes with jihadist fighters.Mali’s army has been struggling to contain the Islamist insurgency despite help from African neighbours, MINUSMA, the 13,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, and former colonial power in the region France.French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe in a visit to neighbouring Senegal on Monday, called on all west African states to help tackle jihidist groups operating in the Sahel.“One thing is certain: jihadist groups will benefit, as soon as they can, from our weaknesses, from our lack of coordination or from our lack of commitment or training,” said Philippe, at the opening of the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security. RELATED ARTICLES Hong Kong university protesters defy surrender warnings Nov 20, 2019 0 731 Trump’s demand for Biden probe was improper, says top White House Ukraine expert Nov 20, 2019 0 1325 US vows more support for Philippines amid tensions in South China Sea Nov 20, 2019 0 997 Sri Lanka’s new president Rajapaksa to visit India for talks with PM Modi Colombo: India’s foreign minister arrived in Sri Lanka on Tuesday and announced that new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to visit New Delhi next week. Subrahmanyam .. 6 dead as avalanche buries Indian patrol on disputed glacier Srinagar: An avalanche on Monday hit an Indian patrol in the world’s highest militarised zone in the Himalayas, killing four soldiers and two porters, an army spokesman said. The disaster was the latest on the Siachen .. Pakistan’s ailing ex-PM Sharif flown by air ambulance to London Lahore: Pakistan’s ailing ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif left by air ambulance on Tuesday for London, where he is due to receive medical treatment after battling the government for permission to travel, his doctor and .. Swedish prosecutor drops Julian Assange rape investigation Stockholm: Swedish prosecutors said on Tuesday they have dropped their investigation into jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over a 2010 rape allegation, even though they found the plaintiff’s claim .. Spain court convicts 19 former ruling party officials in graft case Seville: A court in Spain on Tuesday convicted 19 former top officials from the ruling Socialists in Andalusia of graft for their role in one of the biggest corruption cases in the country’s modern history. The 19 were .. Johnson, Corbyn spar online ahead of first TV election duel London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sparred online on Tuesday ahead of their first televised head-to-head debate before a general election on December 12. Johnson .. President Zelensky says Ukraine getting ‘tired’ of Trump scandal Kiev: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday that his country is “tired” of questions related to the Trump scandal, amid a critical week of public impeachment hearings in Washington. “We have our .. White House welcomes release of two Western hostages in Afghanistan AFP Washington The White Hous e on Tuesday welcomed the release of an American and an Australian hostage in Afghanistan, saying both men had been “successfully recovered” and were receiving US medical care. “We pray for ..