Dakar - The Malian army said on Sunday that new fighting had broken out in the north between the military and armed rebel groups, the latest in a series of attacks on the army in the troubled West African country.
The army reported on social media 'intense fighting' against 'terrorists' in the early hours of the morning, in the area of Bamba which separatist rebels claimed to have taken control of.
The rebels said they had seized the northern locality in a social media message published on behalf of the Permanent Strategic Framework, which is dominated by the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA).
The CMA is an alliance of predominantly Tuareg groups seeking autonomy or independence from the Malian state.
No further details on the fighting were provided by either side.
Tuareg-dominated separatist groups said on Saturday that they had inflicted heavy losses on the Malian military in an attack in the centre of the country, claiming to have killed 81 soldiers.
Since the end of August, the north of Mali has seen a resumption of hostilities by the CMA and an intensification of jihadist attacks against the Malian army.
On September 7, the army was attacked in Bamba in an operation claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked alliance, the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM).
The escalation in violence coincides with the ongoing withdrawal of the UN stabilisation force MINUSMA, which has been pushed out by the ruling junta.
Mali's junta, which seized power in 2020, faces a multitude of security challenges throughout the poor and landlocked country.