BAMAKO (Reuters) - Suspected Islamist militants attacked and seized control of an army base in the central Malian town of Nampala on Tuesday, the deputy mayor of a nearby town said.
“The army is regrouping in town (Diabaly) and is preparing a counter-attack to retake the base, which fell into the hands of the assailants,” the deputy mayor of Diabaly, Ousmane Diallo, told Reuters by telephone.
Officials had no information on casualties.
French forces intervened in Mali in 2013 to drive back Islamist fighters who had hijacked a Tuareg uprising to take over the desert north.
But despite the presence of an 11,000-strong peacekeeping force, militants have reorganized and continued to launch attacks across Mali and the wider West Africa region.
Armed men in four-wheel drive vehicles and on motorcycles attacked Malian forces at several positions in Nampala at around 5:00 am (0500 GMT), army spokesman Souleymane Maiga said.
“Apparently the attackers are Islamists supported by certain armed groups,” Maiga said. He added that the situation was now calm, but would not comment on who now controlled the base.
Reporting by Adama Diarra and Tiamoko Diallo; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Tim Cocks and Kevin Liffey