At least 15 soldiers and three civilians have been killed in coordinated “terrorist” attacks in Mali, the military in the chronically unstable country said on Wednesday, the latest deadly violence to rock the Sahel state.
In Kalumba, near the Mauritanian border, “the death toll on the friendly side is 12 dead, including three civilians from a roadworks company,” the army said in a statement.
The army’s toll in Sokolo, in central Mali, is six dead and 25 others injured, five of them seriously.
The army claims to have killed 48 assailants and “neutralized three terrorist vans 15 kilometers (10 miles) from Sokolo with (approximately) fifteen fighters and their equipment” destroyed, the statement said.
A third attack, in central Mopti, ended without casualties overnight.
Over the weekend, Mali’s military said it foiled a fresh attack on a military camp in the center of the country, two days after a deadly suicide bombing in a strategic garrison town near the capital.
It was the first time since 2012 that such coordinated attacks had taken place so close to the capital.
The Malian army has intensified its anti-jihadist operations in recent months, relying on what it describes as Russian instructors.
Despite a deteriorating security situation, the junta has turned its back on France and its international partners, relying instead on Russia to stem the threat of jihadists in Mali, as well as in Burkina Faso and Niger.