On 8 September 2023, Al-Qaeda affiliate Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM) group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a Malian armed forces base located near Gao International Airport (GAGO/GAQ) during the early hours of the day. According to eyewitness reports, the militants detonated vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices at the front entrance of the base before proceeding to launch mortar shells and engage in a small arms fire exchange with Malian soldiers. Immediately following the attack, military personnel blocked access to Gao and operations at the airport were suspended. Local authorities did not release any information regarding casualties or possible damage to the airport due to the attack. The latest assault follows a JNIM attack near the city of Timbuktu the previous day, during which militants opened fire on a passenger boat traveling on waterway linking the Gao and Mopti regions, killing 49 civilians. JNIM was also blamed for the 7 September attack on a Malian army camp located in the Bourem Circle of the Gao region in which 15 Malian soldiers and 50 assailants were killed.