Malian authorities declared three days of national mourning to begin Thursday after a pair of weekend attacks by extremist groups killed dozens of soldiers and police officers across the country.
In the deadliest violence, the Malian army said an attack Sunday in the northern region of Gao killed 42 soldiers. A statement said the attackers used drones, artillery and booby-trapped vehicles to carry out the assault.
Elsewhere, five police officers were killed in the country’s south in a Sunday attack on a police station near the border with Burkina Faso. Three other officers remained missing after the assault on the Sona border police station, said Soulaimane Traore, director-general of the national police.
The following day, militants belonging to an al-Qaeda-linked group known as JNIM claimed responsibility.