A resident says that armed attackers have killed three gendarmes in Mali's central region.

Moussa Saye, who lives in the town of Mopti and has family who live near the attack, said Wednesday that the three members of the security forces were killed about 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of the central town on Tuesday.

Malian forces that receive information on attacks in the area confirmed the attack. The forces' representative spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not permitted to speak with the press.

The Mopti region is known to be a stronghold for the Macina Liberation Front, an Islamic extremist group active in central Mali that claimed responsibility for several attacks on the army last year.