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Iran Press TV

12 Malian soldiers killed in militant attack on army base in Nampala

Iran Press TV

Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:31PM

At least a dozen Malian soldiers were killed Tuesday in an attack by militants on an army base in the city of Nampala in central Mali.

Ousmane Diallo, the deputy mayor of the nearby town of Diabaly, and a security source both confirmed that assailants also wounded at least 27 people as they took control of the military base, which is located close to Mauritania's border.

"The army is regrouping in town (Diabaly) and is preparing a counter-attack to retake the base, which fell into the hands of the assailants," Diallo said.

Meanwhile, an official with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) gave a different casualty count and said 38 people were injured as gunmen stormed the base.

He said the militants blitzed the base with dozens of pickup trucks and motorcycles, adding that the area is currently under the control of the gunmen.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

A soldier in Nampala said the death toll could rise because not all the soldiers had been accounted for.

Malian army spokesman Souleymane Maiga said militants have launched attacks on the army forces in several positions in Nampala. The official said the attacks began at dawn local time, adding that "certain armed groups" supported the militants in the assaults. He declined to comment on who was in control of the military base in Nampala, but said the situation was now calm.

Insurgency in Mali was quelled in 2013 when the French military intervened to push back militants from the sprawling desert in the north. However, armed groups have continued attacks across the country, using elements from the Tuareg rebel movement.

MINUSMA currently has 13,289 military personnel in the country, according to the UN figures.

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