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At least 18 killed in three coordinated attacks in Mali, army

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At least 15 soldiers and three civilians were killed in coordinated “terrorist” attacks in Mali, the chronically unstable country’s military said Wednesday, the latest deadly force to rock the Sahel state.

In Kalumba, near the Mauritanian border, “the death toll on the friendly side is 12, including three civilians from a road construction company,” the army said in a statement.

The army death toll in Sokolo, in central Mali, was six with 25 injured, five of them seriously.

The military claims to have killed 48 attackers and neutralized “three terrorist pickup trucks 15 kilometers (10 miles) from Sokolo with (estimated) fifteen fighters and their equipment,” the statement said.

A third attack, in centrally located Mopti, ended overnight with no casualties.

Last weekend, the Malian army said it had thwarted another attack on a military camp in the center of the country, two days after a deadly suicide attack in a strategic garrison town near the capital.

It was the first time since 2012 that such coordinated attacks have taken place so close to the capital.

The Malian military has intensified its anti-jihadist operations in recent months, relying on what it describes as Russian instructors.

Despite a deteriorating security situation, the junta turned its back on France and its international partners and instead leaned on Russia to contain the threat posed by jihadists against Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

(AFP)

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