Armed men attack Mali prison; inmates freed, guard killed

A military spokesman says a dozen armed men on motorcycles have attacked a prison in southern Mali, freeing prisoners and leaving at least one person dead.

Col. Souleymane Maiga says the attack late Monday took place near the town of Niono in the Segou region. A guard was killed and an unknown number of prisoners fled.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but it bore similarities to other attacks launched by al-Qaida-linked jihadists in the region.

The attack comes a month after a similar assault on the town of Banamba, where detainees were freed when extremists attacked the prison.

Jihadists have long operated in northern Mali and have been increasingly active farther south over the past year.