The number of people killed during this week’s clashes between soldiers and militants in central Mali has risen to 53, the defence ministry said on Friday.
Thirty-eight solders and 15 terrorists were among the dead after militants attacked army camps in Boulkessi and Mondoro in the central Mopti region on Tuesday, the Defence Minister, Dahirou Dembele, said.
Initially, government had placed the death toll at 25 among the Mali Armed Forces and 15 among the attackers.
Twenty-seven soldiers were still missing, according to the figures given by Dembele.
Mali’s centre and north have experienced regular flare-ups of violence and attacks in the wake of a 2012 military coup that saw separatist rebel groups and later al-Qaeda associated militants, take control of the region.
French and African military operations, alongside the Malian army’s efforts, scattered militants and restored government control over the area, but rebel activities and military operations continue in some areas, in spite of the signing of various peace agreements. (dpa/NAN)