The Malian army reported that in an attack on Sunday near the village of Tessit, militants killed 17 Malian soldiers and four civilians.
It added that the militants are suspected affiliates of the Islamic State. Nine soldiers were also reported missing, and equipment and vehicles were destroyed.
“On 07 August 2022 around 15h00, the army units of Tessit… responded vigorously to a complex and coordinated attack by armed terrorist groups, presumably from ISGS (Islamic State in the Greater Sahara) and benefiting from drone and artillery support,” the statement said.
Mali is dealing with an escalating insurgency by armed organisations, some of whom have ties to the Islamic State and al Qaeda, which has spread to its neighbors Burkina Faso and Niger.
The Mali War is an ongoing armed conflict that started in January 2012 between the northern and southern parts of Mali in Africa. On January 16, 2012, several insurgent groups began fighting a campaign against the Malian government for independence or greater autonomy for northern Mali, which they called Azawad.
The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), an organisation fighting to make this area of Mali an independent homeland for the Tuareg people, had taken control of the region by April 2012.