Mali army says 8 soldiers killed, nearly 60 'terrorists neutralised'

Mali army says 8 soldiers killed, nearly 60 'terrorists neutralised'

Agency Report

An air raid on a rebel base "neutralised" 57 "terrorists" in northern Mali where eight soldiers were also killed in fighting, the army said Saturday.

Friday's air force strike targeted a "terrorist base" and "violent clashes" led to the soldiers' deaths, a statement said.

The troops were targeted by "unidentified armed men" in the Archam region near the border with restive Burkina Faso and Niger, the statement said.

About 40 civilians were killed this week in this zone where rival jihadist groups, including the so-called Islamic State, operate, locals told AFP.

The civilians were considered to be loyal to rival jihadist groups, according to the local sources.

Mali is at the epicentre of a Sahel-wide jihadist conflict, which has killed thousands of soldiers and civilians and displaced some two million people.

Rival jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State not only carry out regular attacks on national and foreign troops, but are also fighting each other for territory.

AFP

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