Sixteen soldiers killed in central Mali attack | Muhabarishaji News

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Sixteen soldiers were killed and 10 wounded in an attack in central Mali on Wednesday, security and health officials in the war-torn Sahel state said. 

Mali’s army had earlier said five soldiers had been killed and eight wounded. However, a health official working in central Mali said the death toll had risen to 16, with 10 soldiers injured.

A security source, who requested anonymity, confirmed the toll.

‘COMPLEX ATTACK’ 

In its statement, Mali’s army said that troops had repelled a “complex IED attack,” referring to an improvised explosive device. 

Mali has been struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency that first erupted in the north in 2012 and has since claimed thousands of military and civilian lives.

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ATTACKS CONTINUE

Despite the presence of thousands of French and UN troops, the conflict has engulfed central Mali and spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger. 

Central Mali has become one of the most violent hotspots of the Sahel-wide conflict, where ethnic killings and attacks on government forces are frequent.

Four Malian soldiers were killed by an IED blast in the region on 20 September. A jihadist ambush also killed five soldiers in central Mali on 12 September.

Laying roadside bombs – or IEDs – is a common tactic of jihadist groups in the region.

© Agence France-Presse