Around 30 Mali soldiers killed in jihadist attack

Army official says soldiers  attacked by suspected jihadists at military camp in Tarkint, north of Gao.

BAMAKO - "Around 30" Malian soldiers were killed and five more injured in a suspected jihadist attack Thursday in the north of the country, the army said.

The attack took place early Thursday at a military camp in Tarkint, north of Gao, an army official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"The toll in the attack of #Tarkint (#Gao) has risen to around 30 deaths and five wounded," Mali's armed forces wrote on Twitter.

Earlier, the army had said that its camp in Tarkint was the target of a "terrorist attack", putting the initial toll at two dead and 10 injured.

It is the deadliest attack on the Malian army in four months.

A French-led military operation ousted jihadists from power in northern Mali in 2013, though they dispersed and regrouped. They have also been pushing farther south.

Last year saw a surge of deadly assaults on Mali’s military posts. The extremists add to their weapons stockpile with each raid.