The raiders add to their weapons stockpile with each raid. Fighters linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group have published images on social media of their spoils of war including automatic weapons, motorcycles and other vehicles.
Militants in the Sahel, the arid region south of the Sahara Desert, used to buy weapons from Libya but that market has dried up, according to one Malian government official who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak with journalists.
“We believe that one of the motivations for these attacks is the search for weapons held by our military,” the official said.
As part of a reorganization following a wave of attacks on other far-flung outposts, soldiers have been assigned to more central bases.