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At least six Mali troops killed by landmines

13th March 2019 - 14:15 GMT | by ​Agence France-Presse in Bamako

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Six Malian troops were killed on 12 March 2019 when their vehicles drove over improvised land mines in the centre of the West African country, the army said.

Two army escort vehicles hit improvised explosive devices (IEDs) ‘leaving two dead in Dialloube and four dead in the Hombori area,’ in the central Mopti region, the army said in comments online. The government condemned the ‘cowardly and heinous terrorist acts’.

A security source put the toll at seven soldiers dead.

Mali has been struggling to return to stability after Al-Qaeda-linked extremists took control of the north in early 2012, prompting a military intervention by France. Although the jihadists were routed in the French operation in 2013, large stretches of the landlocked state remain out of government control.

The latest deaths came a week after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that security is worsening in Mali with terror attacks on the rise, targeting UN peacekeepers, Malian troops, international forces and civilians.

The threat from extremist groups has spread from northern Mali to the centre of the country, complicating efforts to implement a peace deal with armed groups.

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