Not less than 27 Malian soldiers have been killed following a rebel attack at an army base in Mondoro, a rural community in the Cercle of Douentza in the Mopti Region of the West African country, government officials have said.
The attack on the army base which occured on Friday night, also injured 33 soldiers, with at least seven still missing following the complex attack which involved car bombs, local media reported on Saturday morning.
However, a statement by the defence ministry stated that about 70 terrorists were killed in the military’s response, without specifying which armed group was responsible.
Mali has been facing an armed rebellion since al-Qaeda-linked fighters seized its desert north in 2012, forcing former colonial power France to intervene to drive them back the following year.
The rebel fighters have since regrouped and seized vast swaths of the Malian countryside, while also expanding into Niger, Burkina Faso and other neighbouring countries.
Thousands of people have been killed and more than two million people displaced in the violence. Last year alone, armed groups carried out more than 800 deadly attacks.
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