A Malian soldier was killed and seven others injured in an ambush by gunmen in the northern Timbuktu region of the country, military and local sources said. The attack was carried out on Wednesday morning by armed men on a pickup truck about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Goundam, an army official in Timbuktu told AFP.
"It was a complex attack, with an IED (improvised explosive device), followed by shots," said the official, who wished to remain anonymous. The Malian military fought back with reinforcements sent from Goundam, he said. The defense ministry declined to comment.
"We saw one dead and many wounded, all Malian soldiers. Two bandits were also killed," said a resident near where the ambush took place. The attack came hours before a government pledge to restart work on roads and improve security in the region, which regularly faces violence from bandits and jihadists.
Northern Mali fell into the hands of jihadists in 2012 before the militants were forced out by a French-led military intervention. But much of the region remains chronically unstable and despite the 2015 agreement violence has spread to the multi-ethnic center of the country.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)