8 killed after suspected armed group assaulted army patrol at West Mali

The army claimed that eight soldiers were killed and seven injured after a suspected armed group assaulted their patrol in western Mali.

The attack took place late Wednesday afternoon near the town of Nara, around 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of the Mauritania border.

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“A complicated attack involving IEDs [improvised explosive devices] and heavy weapons was launched against a unit in the Nara area,” a statement said on Thursday.

The army had previously issued a preliminary death toll of four people.

The army announced Thursday morning that “on the side of the assailants, 31 bodies were discovered,” along with weapons and ammunition.

It further stated that troops were attacked in Sikasso in the far south on Wednesday night while the Hombori military camp in the central Mopti district was shelled.

The two incidents resulted in no injuries.

No one has claimed responsibility for the encounter as of yet.

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A brigade in Niena, in the deep south of the country, was attacked on Wednesday evening, but no casualties were reported, according to the army.

On Wednesday evening, a mortar attack in the country’s centre targeted the Hombori camp, but no damage was reported.

Mali is the epicentre of an armed revolt that began in the north in 2012 and extended to neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso three years later.

Thousands of people in the region have died, and two million people left their homes due to war.

The violence expanded to Burkina Faso and Niger despite the presence of French and UN soldiers.

France interlarded in 2013, and France has a rough estimate of 5000 soldiers in the country but plans to reduce that number to 2,500-3,000 by 2023.

Despite the coup that brought the military to power in Bamako in 2020, the cycle of violence has continued.