Mali says 24 soldiers killed in latest extremist attack

JOHANNESBURG (AP) – Mali’s military said 24 soldiers have died in the latest extremist attack as alarm grows about the vast Sahel region being used as a haven for fighters linked to the Islamic State (IS) group and al-Qaeda.

Monday’s attack occurred amid a surge in assaults that have killed over 100 Malian troops in recent weeks and led to public outrage, political pressure on President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and a decline in military morale.

In a statement overnight, Mali’s army said 29 soldiers were wounded and 17 militants killed at Tabankort in the northeastern Gao region.