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.
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.
READ: eThekwini Municipality launches new smart electricity meter
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