Nine Gendarmes Killed in Central Mali Attack

A further nine gendarmes were wounded, five of them seriously.

Nine gendarmes were killed in an attack near the central Malian town of Bandiagara, in an area where jihadist groups are rampant, a military official said on Friday.

Military and local officials had earlier spoken of a death toll of eight, in the attack on a gendarmerie post which took place on Thursday night.

Nine Malian gendarmes were also wounded, five of them seriously, according to a military official who declined to be named.

The gendarmerie is a police unit that is under the command of the military.

Adama Dionko, a spokesman for a group of associations in the area, said that there had been a long exchange of fire with a large number of jihadists.

Mali has been plunged in violence since 2012 when jihadists first rebelled in the north of the Sahel state.

The conflict has since spread to central Mali, as well as neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger — killing thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands more.

But ethnically diverse central Mali has become the epicenter of the conflict, where tit-for-tat community killings are common, and jihadists regularly attack troops.

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