BAMAKO (Reuters) – A militant attack on an army base in central Mali on Friday killed at least 27 soldiers and wounded 33 more, the government said.
Seven soldiers are still missing following the complex attack in the rural commune of Mondoro, which involved car bombs, according to a government statement.
Seventy “terrorists” were killed in the military’s response, the statement said, without specifying which militant group was responsible. Affiliates of both al Qaeda and Islamic State are active in central Mali.
Mali has been facing an Islamist insurgency since al Qaeda-linked militants seized its desert north in 2012, forcing former colonial power France to intervene to drive them back the following year.
The militants have since regrouped and seized vast swaths of the Malian countryside, while also expanding into Niger, Burkina Faso and other neighbouring countries.
France has maintained thousands of troops across the region since 2013, but announced last month that it would withdraw its forces from Mali as relations with the ruling military junta soured.
(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; writing by Aaron Ross; editing by Jonathan Oatis)