Mali declares 10-day state of emergency Authorities also declare 3 days of mourning following attack that killed 17 soldiers

BAMAKO, Mali (AA)Malian authorities have declared a 10-day national state of emergency starting Thursday as the security situation across the country is deteriorating following an attack on a military base that killed 17 soldiers.

The declaration came late Wednesday after a Cabinet meeting in the country’s capital Bamako chaired by President Boubacar Keita, according to local media reports.

Three days of national mourning were also declared “in tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack … against the armed security forces in Nampala,” the statement said.

“The terrorist threat persists despite the actions of the state, as evidenced by the recent attacks against Mali’s armed and security forces,” it added.

On Tuesday militants attacked a military base in Nampala, Central Mali that killed at least 17 soldiers and injured 35 others.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but responsibility for similar attacks has been claimed by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb based in the north of the country.

A 10-day state of emergency was also declared last November after a hostage crisis at a hotel in Bamako left at least 19 people dead, including several foreigners. The West African country also declared a state of emergency in April.

Since then, Malian authorities have been on alert.

In recent years, Mali has been hit by a number of attacks launched by insurgents operating from its northern desert territory.

A French-led 2013 military operation succeeded in driving fighters out of cities and towns taken a year earlier in the north of the country. France still has troops based in the West African country.

But several militant groups are nonetheless active in the northern part of the country, despite a peace agreement signed between the Malian government and some Tuareg rebel groups last year.

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