Two Malian soldiers were killed early Sunday in northern Mali in an attack on their post blamed on jihadists, the army announced on social networks.
An “armed terrorist group” attacked the Niafunke post in the early hours, the army said, using a term commonly used to refer to jihadists.
“The toll is two dead on the FAMa (Malian Armed Forces) side and five dead on the attackers’ side,” it added.
The deaths are the first announced by the Malian army since a January 5 report of six deaths during clashes in November and December.
In the meantime, the Malian army has claimed responsibility for the death of dozens of jihadists and the destruction of several of their bases since the launch in December of operation Keletigui.
Mali has been struggling to contain a jihadist insurgency that first emerged in 2012 and has since spread to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.
The country has been increasingly at loggerheads with its international partners since the military seized power in the Sahel state in 2020, ousting President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.