At least 16 soldiers killed after gunmen attack army base in Mali

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Gunmen attacked and briefly held an army base in central Mali, killing at least 16 soldiers and destroying vehicles.

Sources said on Sunday that the attackers stormed the base in Mopti region and fired indiscriminately at the soldiers.

Reuters reports the mayor of the nearest town Kareri, Youssouf Coulibaly, to have confirmed the attack that took place in the base located in the village of Dioura.

“I’m currently inside the base and there were many deaths here. We’ve counted 16 so far,” Coulibaly said.

The attack was also confirmed by an army source.

Mali has been dogged by militancy for years, killing thousands.

The violence begun in 2012 when Islamists and allied Tuareg rebels took over the north and advanced towards the capital Bamako, until a French-led intervention pushed them back the following year.

Al-Qaeda and Islamic State affiliated groups used central and northern Mali as launch pads for attacks across the Sahel region.

Malian forces and foreign troops are still battling the militants, and advancements have been made, though the militants still stage attacks occasionally.