The Mali armed forces tweeted that a military convoy was attacked between Gomacoura and Diabaly, while a second attack staged at Camp Gamacoura.

Five soldiers were killed in central Mali after twin attacks by suspected Islamist militants.

The Mali armed forces tweeted that a military convoy was attacked between Gomacoura and Diabaly, while a second attack staged at Camp Gamacoura.

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Heavy weapons were used by the attackers, it said.

Five other soldiers were wounded and vehicles destroyed. A reinforcement has been dispatched to the area, the army said.

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It is still unclear who staged the attack.

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Mali has been facing attacks from jihadists, with 24 soldiers killed in June in a series of attacks that have spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

The country is also facing a political crisis – the opposition has been calling for the resignation of President Ibrahim Keïta for failing to stop the attacks and corruption allegations.

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The opposition has rejected proposals made last month by five heads of state from the West African regional block Ecowas to form a unity government to resolve the crisis.

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President Keïta last week appointed a slimmed down cabinet to work towards a government of national unity, and Prime Minister Boubou Cissé has reached out to a popular imam Mahmoud Dicko who is leading the protest movement.

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