British Forces deployed in Mali have killed two armed terrorist fighters after being engaged by small arms fire while on patrol, according to the Ministry of Defence.

On 20 October, the UK Task Group in Mali were engaged by armed terrorist fighters while on patrol. They returned fire and killed two members of a Terrorist Armed Group.

There were no UK or UN force causalities and this is the first time UK troops have come under fire in Mali.

A UN Spokesperson was quoted as saying:

“UN peacekeepers from the British contingent of MINUSMA (LRRG) travelling from Gao to Ménaka on a security patrol repelled an attack by two armed individuals. The UN peacekeepers vigorously retaliated, neutralizing the two individuals.”

Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said:

“This is an important reminder that as we broaden the focus of Defence to State based threats in new domains like cyber and space, we still rely on our Armed Forces to apply lethal forces in close contact with our enemies. No matter how much technology we invest in, it all comes to naught without the bravery and determination of our Armed Forces.”

Following a search of the area, the British troops found a cache of weapons including an AK47, a machine gun, 100 rounds of ammunition and a radio.

You can read more here.

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Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
25 days ago

Well done to the guys involved, I worked in this part of the world for over 20 years and you have to hit hard or be hit hard that is the nature of that part of the world.
With the push for more and more tech related war fighting this is a small reminder that we will always need the guys on the ground to put then selves in harms way.

John Clark
John Clark
25 days ago

Well done guys, I just hope that we are there with a crystal clear mandate, with clear realistic and achievable goals, set within a given timeframe, we have to make sure we aren’t dragged into yet another unwinnable 10 year insurgency campaign.

Simon
Simon
25 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Have to agree with JC, furthermore how
can you send troops to places where there’s no telling who is friend and foe?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
25 days ago
Reply to  Simon

That is a feature of so many operations, including all counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist missions.
Doesn’t mean you turn down the job, just because the enemy aren’t wearing an issued uniform.

BB85
BB85
25 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Thank goodness we didn’t have the same attitude in Northern Ireland. When your dealing with an armed insurgency there is no such thing as a set timeframe or even clear goals. If there is you are already defeated as the enemy is more than happy to wait you out in a guerilla campaign to ensure you never achieve said goals. It took 30 years for the IRA to realise that the British government wasn’t going to run out of patience which is what they where hoping for, once they did they negotiated the same deal that was offered to them… Read more »

Last edited 25 days ago by BB85
John Clark
John Clark
25 days ago
Reply to  BB85

Morning BB85, I respect your position, but disagree. Northern Ireland was a case aside, its sovereign British territory, we were duty bound to protect it, as long as it took. Put it like this, if the European terrorist situation happened to be in Basque region of Spain in the early 1970’s, would the UK have deployed forces if requested by Spain (a highly unlikely theoretical situation admittedly, but you see the point!). Would we have deployed?? Nope, no chance! Iraq and Afghanistan were utter failures of foreign policy, however you look at it they were disastrous. If we can’t contain… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
25 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Also need for there not to be mission creep – and to have an exit plan written on Day 1, and updated as you go..

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
25 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Hello John, It is certainly unwinnable in that part of the world and the UKs remit has gradually got bigger over the last 18 months which has gone from supporting the French forces with logistical support to what it is now, but as the insurgency gets bigger so will the commitment needed. What is needed is a commitment from the UN to involve countries like Canada and Ireland who have a good track record with the UN and have a softer approach to the local population who we must keep on side if we are to make inroads in fighting… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
25 days ago

I would wholeheartedly agree, I would want the Irish and Canadians on board, we definitely need that particular ‘Light touch’ diplomatic assistance, the Irish and Canadians are particularly good at. If the insurgency carries on escalating, we will find ourselves stuck in Afghanistan MK2 before we know it… The diverse populations of the area need to be kept onside and the insurgents ostracised and marginalised. This latest bunfight will be won or lost, depending on who wins the hearts and minds over the next year or so. I would just echo again, clear UK mission goals and a very clear… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
25 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Hello John,
“Harts and Minds” was the one and only anti insurgent campaign won in modern history (well 1950s if that is still modern) and it was a wholly British Idea but the Idea now falls fowl of modern thinking when you have to hide behind a keyboard instead of getting out and about and actually talking to the locals and helping them with their fight with the insurgents as it is the locals who will determine if you are going to win or lose that particular war.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
25 days ago

Very true. Many, sadly including SofS and some senior officers, seem to think that boots on the ground are old hat and we just need a lot of drones and cyber gadgets in the army.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
25 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hello Graham,
Unfortunately the yuppy fraternity in our political and military elite seem to have more shout than they should be entitled too, all wars start out with all the latest kit but soon descends into fix bayonets when the batteries run out and the GPS is turned off.

Mike
Mike
25 days ago

Well done the QDG, a great Cavalry Regiment getting the job done.

Ian M
Ian M
25 days ago

“Vigorously retaliated”, I bet they did! Well done.

DRS
DRS
25 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Bit stupid of whomever attacked them. “hey here are a few of us and there are a bunch of trained soldiers, lets shoot at them” . hmmm… surely you just drop/hide your weapon and walk off.

Steve
Steve
25 days ago

I can’t help thinking the jackal is a really badly designed vehicle for this type of task. Some better coverage for the crew would seems sensible in a place where you don’t know friend from foe.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
25 days ago
Reply to  Steve

The vehicle is very well liked by most crew members who use it. The reality is infantry have no extra armour then what’s on their chest so why should the cavalry be any different.

Klonkie
Klonkie
25 days ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Hi Harry- out of interest the Jakkal weighs in at 6-ish tons. So I was wondering if this is partially due to some from of of amour protection? Possibly small arms & shell splinters?

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
25 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Well bare in mind a land rover is about 4 tons so it’s not a great deal heavier relatively. However, it does have an armoured hull, plus armour on the side along with hydraulic suspension.

Klonkie
Klonkie
25 days ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Thanks Harry

Steve
Steve
25 days ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Just odd that there is massive push back in the US army to the ‘open concept’ vehicle and yet it seems fine for us. I guess it comes down to them being better than the snatch they replace.

Klonkie
Klonkie
25 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I’m guessing budget constraints in the UK play a role

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
25 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

No not really given these things aren’t cheap and we have plenty of them.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
25 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Foxhound replaced snatch these replaced wmik. It’s more to do with doctrine and culture. The American military especially in the likes of Afghanistan want to consider their vehicle a “safe space” even at the cost of fighterbilty. Whereas us Brits consider them soly as a weapons platform. Its also interesting to note that the US special forces brought land rover wmik and jackal so they must agree with our mindset.

Steve
Steve
25 days ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

How much of the doctrine is defined by the gear we have/cost saving and how much is defined by what is best for war fighting? Considering we are constantly copying US force setups etc, it seems odd to me that we have a different doctrine and seems even more odd that protecting the troops is not a priority. If we keep fighting wars where policing is required, the odds are soliders will get ambushed, and not having a safe place to fight outwards from, seems illogical.

Steve
Steve
25 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Imagine the scenario a patrol gets close ranged ambushed. The attackers spray the vehicle and likely hit one or more of the troops and likely takes out of the fight at least one of the troop. Round 1 would go with the attacker, as the patrol is on backfoot, and has less numbers. The patrol the fights back and you have to assume, the better geared /trained patrol has the upper hand here, so round 2 the patrol. Then assume the attackers heavily outnumber the patrol, who need to either find a defensive postion until reinforcements arrive or bug out.… Read more »

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
24 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Every piece of a equipment and doctrine will have its positive and negative, but the jackal for the most part seems to be liked and if full protection was considered more important there are several cheaper all enclosed vehicles to pick from.

Steve
Steve
24 days ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Yeah fair point, although jackal was purchased under UOR, so more about what was available fast rather than what best met the longer term needs

Airborne
Airborne
23 days ago
Reply to  Steve

The Jackel was a UOR, correct mate but one with specific requirements dicated by the MOD, from an organisation with a history of vehicle development and in service platforms. Its a quite decent combination of (relativly) lightweight, highly mobile recce/fire support, with decent height above ground. The armour is ok, but no matter the armour, its success depends on what hits it, or drives over! Mine lost a front wheel, (we had a few damaged/destroyed) wagon fucked, all blokes safe in mine, small IED using an old Russki 82mm Mortar round (so it was assessed) but if it had been… Read more »

Donaldson
Donaldson
22 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Fine for us in desert environments, Baltics a different story.
Picture related

JACKAL.jpg
Johan
Johan
25 days ago
Reply to  Steve

What like a Snatch Landrover ???

Pete
Pete
25 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Agree. Even if just shoulder high armour on the flanks heavy enough for ak47.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
25 days ago

Presumably then this is the first time none SF have fired a shoot in anger since the end of herrick .

scott thornton
scott thornton
25 days ago

My nephew is there right now and my sister is getting nervous and having a go at me because I assured her that Mali would be a ‘nice little holiday’ for him and he wouldnt be in any danger.
What do I know……

Johan
Johan
25 days ago

Pull out before the FRENCH run away before they get shot at…

David Steeper
David Steeper
25 days ago

Have to say i’m baffled as to why the only shooting war we’re involved in is in France’s informal African empire. Does anyone think Macron deserves anything from us but ridicule ? Or maybe it’s the Army ‘It may not be much of a war but it’s the only war we’ve got’

James
James
24 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Totally agree, after Macron totally threw his toys out the pram over the Oz sub deal and all the stuff they called the UK id have made the call to pull every single piece of equipment out the next day and let them get on with it.

Airborne
Airborne
23 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Fair point but the head sheds know that Macron is a come and go politician, and wont be there for ever, while our very good and decent professional working relationship as two bloody good military organisations will be. We work well with the Fenchies, they think very much like us when it comes to modern combat ops. Macron, and other polticos come and go, and gob off for their respective supporters. But I have to say, Macron certainly is a bell-end. Cheers.

geoff
geoff
25 days ago

I am all for International co-operation in the fight against terrorism but Britain is thinly stretched in this regard. It would be better if this burden was shared with African armies such as in Mozambique or other nations who have resources but are not as involved in Global policing as are we! Also France should take the lead in this part of their former huge African Empire-tis only fair! we have enough on our plate elsewhere

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
25 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Hello Geoff, The French have been in Mali for some time (15 years+) we were asked by the French about 7 years ago to help out with logistical support so we sent over a couple of Chinooks along with their support and protection teams this has now expanded into what we see today. The African Union troops are some of the most mistrusted in Africa as quite oftern they are not paid (or the payment goes missing) so end up stealing local food and are oftern involved in gang related violence to help supplement there income. Hence the French/UK/UN involvement… Read more »

geoff
geoff
25 days ago

Hello Steven. Fair comment. Some African armies are better than others(should I say not as bad as others!) but even with relatively stable Forces from Namibia,Botswana and South Africa, there is a pervading culture of unreliability and corruption that infests the whole continent and the Esprit de corps and professional pride that characterises the forces of most western countries, is in short supply in this troubled continent. However there will come a time when Africa will have to look after its own! As unpalatable as is the thought, it might be that if these countries are unable to resist militant… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
24 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Hello Geoff, The situation was made much worse when the “West” decided to take out Gadhafi and the Libyan government. Gadhafi had quite a number of Chadian Mercenaries working for him (as well as a number of East European Merc’s) and after his fall the Chadian government refused to allow these Merc’s back into Chad so they have been making problems in CAR, Mali, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Sudan, Burkina Faso and Benin just to name the ones in the current spotlight. They have since been joined by the Radical element of the Islamic fundamentalism fraternity. Due to them having a… Read more »

Steve
Steve
25 days ago

From what I understand it’s two separate missions with separate objectives, we are there under the banner of the UN, whilst France is there under their own. It’s why there was critisim by senior soldiers about the lack of air support for the UN mission whilst we have Chinooks in country but on a sperate mission.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
24 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Hello Steve, From my understanding it was the French who asked the UN to help out with the logistical support and the UN reached out to the UK, I also believe that there is an element from the Romanian army also helping the French. I know the French have also had a number of successes in the area but have on the other hand had a number of casualties as well.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
24 days ago

Absolutley spot on with the African Union troops. They moved into Sierra Leone and it was then a mad dash for the diamond fields. At one point Nigerian and Kenyan forces where fighting each other for control. It stopped and order was restored when the UN mission Indian Army Ghurkas rocked up in BMPs. Nobody wanted to mess with Ghurkas irrespective of what army they are in. The UN troops get around 1500 USD per man which is sent to the Govts supplying the troops. So nations paying their troops a few hundred a month rake in a lot of… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
24 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I was in Sierra Leone just after the civil war and talking to a number of the locals they stated that the African Union troops started raping and pillaging were ever they had been stationed this started a spate of reprisals from the local population one of the most notable was the capture and skinning while still alive of a Nigerian soldier who was captured after raping a local girl and as you stated above this than calmed down when the UN sent in the Ghurkhas but this was triggered by the lack of payment from the respective governments who… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
24 days ago

I was there for the talks and meetings held on a UK T23. Watching some of the most evil mofos to ever exist come onboard and glad handing each other was not a great day especially as we had seen and been given the briefs on what they had done to the population and especially the mutilations of the kids . Anyway, you have to talk to some nasty people to sort things out and thankfully they did. On the coast I was stunned at how unspoilt and beautiful the place was. Not so much Freetown which appeared to have… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
22 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Yes there are some unsavoury people in that part of the world, unfortunately most of them run the respective countries. Wrinkly tin is the go to roofing type for most of the ghettos in Africa