At least ten Malian soldiers have died Sunday April 21st in an attack by suspected militants in the centre of the West African country, in the latest outbreak of continuing violence in the country, a security source said.
"There are at least ten dead soldiers," the Malian source said. "Yes our camp at Guire was attacked on Sunday April 21st about five in the morning," according to AFP.
"The terrorists came out of the forest. They were on motorcycles and pick-up trucks. They burnt vehicles and took away others," the source added.
The Mali armed forces confirmed the attack on Twitter and said reinforcements were being sent to the Nara sector, about 370 kilometres (230 miles) north of the capital Bamako.
A local resident said there was heavy gunfire and the military "were taken by surprise" in the attack. "I saw two terrorists put their motorcycles in an army vehicle and drive off with it," he said.
On Saturday April 20th, a United Nations peacekeeper was killed and four others wounded when a mine exploded as their convoy passed through central Mali, the latest outbreak in the country’s continuing violence.
The UN mission was established in Mali after radical militias seized the north of the country in 2012 before being pushed back by French troops in 2013.
A peace agreement was signed in 2015 by the Bamako government and armed groups 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, two days after the previous one, Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, resigned with his cabinet, under fire from the ruling and opposition parties for failing to clamp down on the unrest.