53 soldiers have been killed in Mali after terrorists in the east attacked a military post in Indelimane in the Menaka region, the army has said.
The Military post in Indelimane in the Menaka region of Mali was attacked by terrorists killing about 53 soldiers, making it one of the deadliest assaults of the past decade.
The Islamic State (IS) group said via its self-styled Amaq news outlet it was behind the attack.
Mali has suffered violence since 2012, when Islamist militants took over the north. With the help of France, Mali’s army has recaptured the territory.
However, insecurity there continues and the violence has spread to other countries in the region.
It was earlier reported that 54 soldiers had died in the attack on the military post, based on a statement by government spokesperson, Yaya Sangare.
Reinforcements sent to the post found “significant material damage”, Mr Sangare said.
A civilian was also killed at the outpost close to the border with Niger, the country’s communication minister Yaya Sangare said on Twitter.
“The situation is under control. A search and the process of identifying the bodies is continuing,” he added, after giving the latest update on the death toll.
He said 10 survivors were found at the outpost, which suffered “significant” damage. No further details of the attack were given. The Malian government earlier condemned the “terrorist attack,” saying it had left numerous dead or wounded but without giving a precise toll. “Reinforcements have been dispatched to secure the area and hunt down the attackers,” the statement added.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for Friday’s assault. It comes a month after two jihadist assaults killed 40 soldiers near the border with Burkina Faso, however several sources said the death toll had been down played. The deadly assault sparked protests outside a military camp in the country’s capital Bamako.