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July 2 2022 2:33 AM ˚
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Eleven soldiers killed in ambush in central Mali

The Liptako-Gourma zone in northeastern Mali in February 2020. The Liptako-Gourma region has been at the center of jihadist attacks. (Photo: NYTimes)
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Suspected jihadists mounted an ambush Thursday on an army convoy in central Mali that left 11 soldiers dead and 10 wounded, nine of them seriously, the army said.اضافة اعلان

"A bomb-laden vehicle exploded, followed by intense gunfire" in the late-morning attack, the army said in a statement, calling the casualty toll "provisional".

The ambush occurred near Douentza in the jihadist-infested Mopti region, about 600 kilometres from the Malian capital Bamako.

The region is the epicentre of a deadly Islamist offensive that began in northern Mali in 2012 and then advanced into neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger, inflaming ethnic tensions along the way.

Thousands of soldiers and civilians have died in the conflict to date and hundreds of thousands of people have had to flee their homes. 

Extremists linked to Al-Qaeda took control of Mali's vast desert north in early 2012, but were largely driven out in a French-led military operation that began in January 2013.

But huge areas are still in the grip of lawlessness, despite a 2015 peace agreement with some armed groups that sought to definitively stamp out the jihadist threat.

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