Senegal military shells rebels in restive south


Senegalese soldiers shelled separatist positions in the southern province of Casamance on Thursday, a day after capturing two of the rebels’ fighters, a security source says. The offensive marks a continued escalation between government forces and separatists in the tourist hotspot, who earlier this month killed a soldier in a rocket attack on a military outpost.

“The army is shelling the positions of the rebels since this morning,” said a security source based in Ziguinchor, the regional capital, who asked not to be named. He did not say how many people were killed or wounded, Reuters says. A security source also said two rebels were arrested on Wednesday during a sweep operation.

Rebels of the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) have been waging a low-level insurgency since 1982 for the independence of the region — an area just south of the Gambia River known for its picturesque beaches. Recently two retired army generals called on the central government to give more resources to the army to carry out wider sweep operations in the area, also a key grain-producing zone for the West African country.

Pic: Senegalese government troops on parade