Security and local sources on Friday said 10 Malian soldiers were killed in an overnight ambush in central Mali near the Mauritanian border where armed jihadist groups are rampant.
Since the military took power in a coup on August 18, this is the third time Malian security forces have suffered serious loss of lives.
An internal security ministry report said a senior officer and nine others were killed in the attack in Guire, while four vehicles were burnt, AFP news agency reported.
The death toll was confirmed by an elected official from the Guire region, who said ” in the night, heavy gunshots stopped us from sleeping, it appeared like bombs, our houses were shaking.”
A local administrator, who asked not to be identified, said since Monday some men on motorcycles had been in Guire area.
On August 27, a jihadist ambush near the central town of Mopti, about 12 people were wounded and four Malian soldiers were killed, while the army killed 20 enemy fighters, the administrator recalled.
The Malian army also said it lost major equipment during the attack.
Five days earlier, four soldiers were killed when their vehicle was hit by a bomb.