Mali on Thursday began a three-day national mourning to pay tributes to the victims of Tuesday’s terrorist attack that killed at least 11 soldiers and 12 civilians, according to an official statement.
The announcement was made by the transitional President Bah N’Daw in a statement issued after a Cabinet meeting Wednesday.
The attack occurred in the towns of Sokoura and Paroukou, Mopti region, Central Mali on Tuesday. The army said an airstrike had been launched killing several terrorists and destroying two vehicles.
The head of state also offered his condolences to the families of the victims and wished speedy recovery to those injured.
The attack is one of the deadliest since the Aug. 18 coup against former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, regularly accused by the opposition of inability to deal with the country’s security problems.
The junta leaders had promised to win the war against terrorism in Mali.
No group has claimed responsibility of the attack so far, but similar attacks are usually claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Despite the presence of French and UN peacekeeping forces in Mali, armed groups are still very active in the West African country.
Since 2012, militants have carried out violent attacks in northern and central Mali, killing thousands of soldiers and civilians.
In 2015, a peace deal was signed between the government and some insurgent groups.
Political and community disputes continue to fuel tensions in northern Mali, thus undermining the implementation of the peace agreement.