Dozens killed in double attack on Mali army camp and village

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Around two dozen soldiers and at least five civilians were killed when militants attacked a military camp and a village in central Mali on Tuesday, a local official said.

The attack took place in a rural commune of Mali’s south-central Segou Region on Tuesday afternoon. Armed assailants stormed the village of Farabougou and a nearby military camp, shooting everywhere, the official said via telephone.

Militants seized and destroyed the camp, killing around 30 soldiers, said the official, who did not wish to be named.

“There were many civilian and military victims,” he said, adding that the bodies of five villagers had been found and many more were injured. The aftermath is still being assessed, he said.

Two other local officials confirmed the attack but did not provide a death toll.

One survivor told a local radio station that the assailants kidnapped some male residents and killed the rest.

“They took the camp, killed all the soldiers and burnt it down,” she said.

Mali is one of several West African countries fighting a jihadist insurgency that took root in its arid north after militants hijacked a Tuareg rebellion in 2012.

The violence has spread across the Sahel region south of the Sahara, where groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have seized swathes of territory, killed thousands and displaced millions of people.

(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Sofia Christensen; Editing by Nellie Peyton, Alexandra Hudson)