Mali attack: Gunmen kill 17 soldiers at military base

  • Published
officials around a table, 19 July 2016Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Mali's president (C) met senior members of the government and military after the attack

At least 17 soldiers have been killed and 30 wounded in an attack on a military base in Mali, officials say.

Heavily armed men overran the base, in the central town of Nampala, and set parts of it on fire.

Two separate groups have claimed responsibility for the attack.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita called a security meeting with the prime minister, defence minister and commanders of the armed forces after being made aware of the deaths.

There are a number of armed groups in Mali, encompassing ethnic and jihadist concerns.

A recently formed group said it attacked the base in response to the Malian army attacking the Fulani ethnic group.

But the Islamist militant group Ansar Dine also said it was responsible.

Last year, three different jihadist groups said they were behind a deadly attack on a hotel in the capital, Bamako.

The French military intervened in the country at its government's request in 2013, and UN peacekeepers have also been present there.

Image caption,
Nampala is 512km (318 miles) from the capital, Bamako