Bamako: A group of around 30 heavily armed fighters attacked the military camp in Soumpi, located in the center of the country near the southern boundary of Mali’s Timbuktu region, according to an army statement read on state radio.
It said 14 soldiers were killed and 15 others were wounded, adding that 17 of the attackers had been killed in the battle. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
“The soldiers abandoned their position. The enemy carried away material,” said one army officer, who said the camp had been overrun and asked not to be named as they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Islamist fighters seized control of Mali’s northern desert regions in 2012 before being driven back by a French-led intervention a year later.
But despite the presence of a U.N. peacekeeping mission and troops operating under a regional French anti-militant mission, violence is again on the rise and attacks are spreading further south toward the capital, Bamako.