At least 53 soldiers and one civilian were killed in Mali during an attack on an army post in the northern part of the country.
Mali’s government said in a statement that the attack was one of the deadliest to take place in the country against its military in recent times.
The attack was reported in Indelimane, Menaka region, on Friday although the army at the time gave a lower death toll.
Government spokesman Yaya Sangare told Reuters on Saturday that “Heavily armed unidentified men attacked around noon. The attack started with shellfire.. Then they retreated toward Niger.”
Sangare later said on twitter that “The dispatched reinforcements found 54 bodies including one civilian, 10 survivors, and found considerable material damage.”
In September a similar attack killed thirty-eight Malian soldiers in central Mali.
Mali is still struggling to contain militant groups with links to al Qaeda or Islamic State constantly carrying out attacks across the Sahel
Most parts of Mali has been characterized by violence and conflict.
It is a conflict started in Mali in 2012 when Islamists hijacked an ethnic uprising by Tuaregs in the north.
Mali’s ethnic crisis has often been exploited by Jihadist groups as well to boost recruitment and operations.