Mali: 38 dead in worst assault vs. regional security force

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BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Mali’s defense ministry says the death toll from two attacks against Malian members of a regional counterterror force has risen to 38.

Gen. Dahirou Dembele said late Thursday this is the biggest loss the G5 Sahel force has recorded since its creation in 2017. He said another 33 soldiers are missing.

The government earlier reported 25 dead and 60 missing.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks in central Mali near the Burkina Faso border, though the G5 Sahel force commander has blamed the al-Qaida-linked Ansarul Islam.

Assailants rode into the community of Boulikessi with heavy weaponry overnight Sunday to Monday to attack a Malian battalion of the regional force. Around the same time, armed men attacked another army camp in Mondoro.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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