DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Mali’s armed forces say that five soldiers were killed near the nation’s border with Mauritania when their convoy was bombed.
The Malian forces were killed in the attack by extremists on Monday in Alatona, according to a statement. Four vehicles were also destroyed in the blast.
Islamic extremists took over Mali’s north in 2012. France, Mali's former colonial ruler, led a 2013 military operation that ousted the extremists from their urban strongholds in northern Mali. Since then, however, the rebels roam through the open, desert areas of northern Mali, from where they launch attacks. Mali's military has failed to stem the violence despite support from the French and a United Nations peacekeeping mission.
The extremists groups have pushed south in Mali and into neighboring Burkina Faso, staging deadly attacks.