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Malian soldiers killed in attack near Mauritania border

At least 10 Malian soldiers have been killed in a night-time attack in the country’s west near its border with Mauritania.

In Thursday’s attack, the biggest on the military since it staged a coup on August 18, the Malian army mission in Guire suffered deaths, injuries and material damage in the attack on Thursday, according to the Malian military’s Twitter account.

“Reinforcements have been dispatched there,” it said.

The attack comes as Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the Malian president overthrown in the military coup, was moved to his residence after hospitalisation at a private clinic under the tight security of the military government, according to family members.

The 75-year-old’s health condition was not immediately known and it is unclear if he will be evacuated abroad, though leaders of the military government have said they are open to whatever treatment he needs to get, even if in another country.

The military government, which calls itself the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, is now running Mali under the leadership of Assimi Goita.

They have proposed taking three years to set up a transition to civilian rule.

The country’s longtime political opposition, international community and the West African regional bloc are demanding the military government speed up that transition.

The regional bloc, known as ECOWAS, has cut financial flows to Mali, and neighbouring countries have closed their borders in a bid to step up pressure on the coup leaders.

Attacks on the army have continued, including one last week when four soldiers were killed and 12 others wounded in an ambush on an anti-poaching unit by fighters in central Mali about 25km (15 miles) from Konna, the military said.

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