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Mali clash leaves one soldier, 12 ‘terrorists’ dead

A Malian soldier was killed Tuesday in a clash with jihadists who attacked a military camp in the troubled centre of the poor Sahel country, the army said.Twelve of the assailants were killed in the fighting, the army said on social media, saying the troops had “reacted vigorously to a terrorist attack”.Mali’s under-trained and -equipped army, often vulnerable to attack in remote outposts in the desert country, has lost hundreds of men since 2012 when jihadist violence erupted after a rebellion in the north.The conflict spread to the centre of the former French colony and then to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger, claiming thousands of lives and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.Several anti-jihadist military campaigns have been launched in the region, including France’s Barkhane and the G5 Sahel force, which includes units from five regional armies.Tuesday’s clash was the second in a week that is reported to have inflicted heavy jihadist casualties.The United Nations’ representative in Mali, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, reported Monday that a senior commander under Malian jihadist leader Iyad Ag Ghaly was killed in the north of the country along with more than 40 assailants last Friday.Around 100 of them had attacked peacekeepers of the UN force MINUSMA, Annadif said, confirming that four UN troops from Chad were killed at Aguelhok, around 200 kilometres (120 miles) from the border with Algeria.After Tuesday’s attack on the Konna camp, the army announced a “provisional toll” of one dead and four injured in its ranks. “On the enemy side, 12 bodies were recovered” along with three machine guns, two rocket launchers and radios, it said.

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