Dozens of suspected Islamist militants attacked a Malian police base near the southern border with Ivory Coast on Wednesday, security sources said, the most southerly point in the west African country where the insurgents have struck.
Most attacks have previously been in the vast desert north, which has been in turmoil for three years, and this rare foray by the militants into the southern tip of Mali could rattle investors with mining interests in the south.
One of the security sources said about 30 gunmen waving a black flag and shouting “Allahu Akbar” (”God is greatest”) had arrived on motorbikes at the base in Misseni in the Sikasso Region early on Wednesday.
A gendarme was killed in the attack and the base was burned down, the source added. A previous estimate had put the number of dead at two.