Malian Soldiers Killed in Ambush as government transition talks intensify
Some Malian soldiers have been killed in an overnight ambush in the country's volatile central region near the Mauritanian border.
At least 10 soldiers died in the ambush attack, according to a report by France24.
The deaths came as Mali’s junta faces intense pressure to hammer out a transition plan back to civilian government.
The latest attack in the Guire region near the Mauritanian border was the third time Malian security forces suffered heavy losses since the military took power in a coup on August 18.
According to an internal security ministry report, 10 soldiers were killed in the attack, including a senior officer, and four vehicles were torched.
An elected official from the Guire region confirmed the toll. "In the night, shots prevented us from sleeping, it looked like bombs, our houses were shaking," the official told AFP.
A local administrator speaking on condition of anonymity said men on motorcycles had been in the area since Monday.
Four Malian soldiers were killed and 12 others wounded on August 27 in a jihadist ambush near the central town of Mopti, before the army killed 20 enemy fighters, it said. The army said it also suffered major equipment losses.
Five days earlier, four soldiers were killed when their vehicle was hit by a bomb in central Mali, a volatile, ethnically-diverse region that has been badly affected by the jihadist revolt.
News of the latest deaths came as Malian political and civil society leaders head for talks on Saturday in the capital Bamako and other cities to hammer out a transition plan following the August 18 coup that toppled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.