Eight soldiers killed in Mali attack, army says

Eight soldiers have been killed and seven others were injured when their patrol was ambushed by a suspected armed group in western Mali, the army said in a statement.
The attack occurred late in the afternoon on Wednesday near the town of Nara, about 30km (19 miles) south of the border with Mauritania.
“A unit in the Nara area was the target of a complex attack combining IEDs [improvised explosive devices] and heavy weapons,” a statement said on Thursday.
The army had earlier given a provisional death toll of four.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the ambush.
On Wednesday evening, a brigade in Niena in the far south of the country was attacked, but without any casualties, the army said.
In the centre of the country, a mortar attack targeted the Hombori camp on Wednesday evening, but there was no material damage.

Mali is the epicentre of an armed uprising that began in the north of the country in 2012 and spread three years later to neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.
Thousands of people across the region have died and about two million have been displaced by the conflict.
Despite the presence of French and United Nations troops, the conflict spread to Burkina Faso and Niger.
France intervened in 2013 and now has roughly 5,000 soldiers in the region, but plans to lower that number to 2,500-3,000 by 2023.
The spiral of violence has continued despite the coup that brought the military to power in Bamako in 2020.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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