Malian defence minister sacked following series of attacks

Mali’s defence minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly was fired on Saturday, a day after jihadists briefly took control of the Boni town in the country’s centre.

Before the government army managed to regain control of the town, the attackers, who are suspected of belonging to the Ansar Dine group, burned public buildings and took an elected local official hostage before withdrawing after a few hours

A statement released by the government stated Coulibaly’s post had been revoked after militants stepped up attacks in the country’s centre in recent months, targeting government and military installations.

Former minister for territorial administration, Abdoulaye Idrissa Maiga will fill in his shoes.

The raid by the jihadists comes hot on the heals of July 9 attacks on a military base in the town of Nampala, in which 17 soldiers were killed, and six were reported to have been missing.