Three days of mourning have been declared in Mali after the deadliest attack on Malian soldiers in months.
Mali’s transitional president, Assimi Goita, has declared the national mourning period, starting Saturday, after 27 Malian soldiers were killed and 33 wounded during an attack on a central Mali military camp in the town of Mondoro Friday, in Mali’s Mopti region.
Seven soldiers are still missing, according to a press release published by Mali’s military government Friday.
The release also says that 47 “terrorists” were “neutralized” the morning of the attack, and 23 later in the afternoon.
The attack comes after the military government, which seized power in a 2020 coup, asked the French military in February to leave Malian territory immediately, following an announcement from French President Emmanuel Macron that French troops would withdraw from Mali over a period of four to six months.
The announcement of the withdrawal came after months of increasing tensions between the French and Malian governments.
The French military has been present in Mali since it intervened in 2013, in an operation to take back control of northern Mali from Islamists. But since then, both Malian and French forces have struggled to contain an insurgency that has moved from northern Mali into the center of the country.