BAMAKO, Mali – Suspected Islamic extremists attacked an army checkpoint in Timbuktu early Tuesday, killing at least two soldiers and injuring one, the government said.
Another soldier is missing and a search has been launched for the extremists who carried out the attacks with automatic weapons, Mali's government said in a statement.
A security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to journalists, said the soldiers' throats were slashed in the attack just north of a town where Islamic extremists are active.
Authorities had made several arrests outside Timbuktu following the attack, residents said.
Timbuktu fell under the control of Islamic extremists in 2012 until a French-led military operation ousted them from power the following year though militants have repeatedly attacked since then. Attacks have also moved further south this year.
Mali's government condemned the violence and called on signatories of a peace accord to honor the document signed in June between the government, separatists and pro-government militia groups.