The military said coordinated twin assaults also left 18 soldiers injured, with around 30 assailants killed in military response.
At least six Malian soldiers were killed in two “complex and simultaneous” attacks in the conflict-ravaged center of Mali, according to the army.
The coordinated assault took place at around 3 a.m. (03:00 GMT) on Sunday in the villages of Boulkessi and Mondoro in the Mopti region, near the country’s border with Burkina Faso.
“The provisional death toll is six dead and 18 wounded” among the soldiers, the army said in a statement, adding that the attacks had prompted a military response which left “around thirty dead on the terrorist side.”
About 40 motorcycles and a large amount of military equipment were seized from the attackers, he added.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the attacks.
The Malian crisis was sparked in 2012 when separatists from the Taureg ethnic group, allied with fighters from an offshoot of Al Qaeda, launched a rebellion that took control of northern Mali. But the armed group’s fighters quickly pushed back the Tuareg rebels and seized key northern towns until they were driven out in early 2013 by French troops, as well as by Malian forces and soldiers from other African countries. .
However, groups linked to ISIS (ISIS) and Al Qaeda have arisen in central and northern regions of Mali, regularly carrying out raids against the army and civilians as they fight for control. while exploiting poverty and exacerbating tensions between ethnic tensions.
In September 2019, the same army positions struck on Sunday were the target of one of the deadliest attacks to hit Mali since 2012, with around 50 soldiers killed.
This double attack was later claimed by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims, the main alliance in the Sahel region affiliated with al-Qaeda.
On Thursday, three other Malian soldiers were killed in a bomb attack in the Mondoro region.
Mali has received support in its fight against armed groups from the French Barkhane force, which has 5,100 soldiers spread across the arid Sahel region.
In addition to Mali, the French force fought armed groups alongside Mauritanian, Chadian, Burkinabé and Nigerien soldiers.
The United Nations has also deployed its 13,000-strong MINUSMA peacekeeping force, often referred to as the world body, to Mali.The most dangerous», Having suffered 146 hostile deaths since its creation in 2013.
Long-standing violence has killed thousands and left hundreds of thousands displaced, with the center of the country emerging as a major hotspot.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees recently said more than two million people in the wider Sahel have fled their homes due to the violence.
The UN Security Council held a meeting earlier this month on the security crisis in Mali, while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern over the deteriorating security environment , describing the situation in central Mali as particularly worrying.