BAMAKO, Mali – A Mali army official says at least two soldiers were killed in an ambush in the country's north.
Col. Souleymane Maiga said Monday that three more troops were wounded during the attack Sunday near Douekire, 30 miles (45 kilometers) west of the city of Timbuktu.
The troops were on their way to Douekire to provide security for a weekly market when attackers opened fire.
No one immediately took responsibility for the attack, but several armed groups operate in northern Mali. Following a military coup in 2012, Mali's north fell under control of Tuareg separatists and then al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremists. A French-led intervention in 2013 scattered the extremists, but some remain active and there have been continued bursts of violence.
U.N. troops are now trying to stabilize the north.