Not less than five soldiers were killed Sunday in clashes with “terrorists” in Central Mali, the army said, TopNaija can confirm.
One clash occurred between the village of Goma-Coura and Diabaly town at the same time as an artillery attack on a camp at Goma-Coura, the army said in a statement posted on its Twitter account, giving a “provisional” death toll of five soldiers.
The bloodshed came some six weeks after jihadists ambushed a military convoy, also in central Mali, killing 24 soldiers.
Jihadists unleashed a revolt in northern Mali in 2012 that has since spread to the centre of the poor Sahel country and to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger despite the presence of thousands of French and UN troops.
The latest attacks came as President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita faces insistent calls to resign from an opposition angry over the brutal jihadist conflict as well as dire economic conditions and perceived corruption.
Much of the current tension was sparked in April, when the Constitutional Court tossed out 30 results from long-delayed parliamentary elections — a move that benefited Keita’s party.
The so-called June 5 Movement (M5-RFP) has continued to insist on Keita’s departure, despite two mediation missions by the regional bloc ECOWAS which suggested a new unity government and a resolution to the election quarrel.
M5-RFP has said it would resume acts of “civil disobedience” on Monday after observing a truce for the Eid al-Adha festival, a key Muslim holiday that began on Friday.