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Armed assailants shoot dead three policemen in central Mali

Armed assailants have killed three policemen in an overnight attack in Mali’s central town of Mopti, military sources say.

A military source said on Wednesday that the three policemen were on duty and ambushed at a location about 60 kilometers from the town.

“They went into an area that is difficult to access. The terrorists set an ambush and they were caught in the ambush,” a police source said.

On Friday, two soldiers and a guard were also killed in two separate attacks in which four militants were gunned downed by government forces. In the first attack, unidentified militants attacked a food convoy in the country’s northern region, killing two soldiers guarding the shipment. The convoy was carrying relief aid and food stuff for people displaced by violence in the country.

In the second attack on Friday, armed militants attacked a market further south in the village of Dioura in the central region of Mopti and killed a security guard.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the Wednesday attack; however, such raids are often carried out or attributed to Tuareg rebels, who are operating mostly in Mali’s restive north.

The Tuareg rebels took control of northern Mali, which they call Azawad, in January 2012. The country has witnessed months of turmoil ever since.

Mali’s northern region remains vulnerable to attacks despite a military operation led by France in 2013, which came after the UN Security Council passed a resolution on the deployment of a peacekeeping force known as the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

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