Attackers kill 12 Mali soldiers in major attack on military base
Fighters killed at least 12 soldiers in an attack on Sunday in central Mali.
The military outpost at Guire was attacked at about 5am, a source told AFP news agency.
“The terrorists came out of the forest. They were on motorcycles and pick-up trucks. They burned vehicles and took away others,” said the source, who asked not to be named.
“The new toll is at least 12 dead, including the post commander, a captain.”
The Mali armed forces confirmed the attack on Twitter, without saying how many soldiers had been killed. They said reinforcements were sent to the Nara sector, about 370km north of the capital, Bamako.
A local resident said there had been heavy gunfire and the military was “taken by surprise” in the attack.
“I saw two terrorists put their motorcycles in an army vehicle and drive off with it,” he said.
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Malian and foreign troops are regularly targeted by militia.
Fighters killed 21 Malian soldiers last month in a raid on another army camp in Dioura, central Mali.
On Saturday a UN peacekeeper was killed and four others wounded when a mine exploded as their convoy passed through a central region.
The UN mission was established in Mali after militias seized the north of the country in 2012 before being pushed back by French troops in 2013.
A peace agreement signed in 2015 by the government and armed groups was aimed at restoring stability. But the accord has failed to stop the violence.
The latest attacks came as President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita pursued consultations to pick a new prime minister.
The last one, Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, resigned with his entire cabinet resigned after coming under fire from the ruling and opposition parties for failing to clamp down on the unrest.