By Moussa Bolly
Eleven Malian soldiers were killed and five others injured Sunday in an attack on a military camp in central Mali’s Boulikessi town near the Burkina Faso border, according to Ministry of Defense Monday.
The perpetrators of the attack in the Mopti region have not yet been identified, it said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack; however, recent attacks by Malian security forces have been attributed to Ansarul Islam militant group led by Burkinabe Ibrahim Malam Dicko.
The attack came a few days after some militant groups in northern and central Mali merged into a movement called the Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimeen led by Iyad Ag Ghaly.
Several terror groups are active in northern Mali, where French, Mali, and UN peace troops are conducting counterterrorism operations.
Tensions erupted in Mali in 2012 following a failed coup and a Tuareg rebellion that ultimately allowed al-Qaeda-linked militant groups to take over the northern half of the country.
In 2015, a peace deal was signed between the government and some insurgent groups.
Political and community disputes continue to fuel tensions in northern Mali, thus undermining the implementation of the peace agreement.