Bamako: At least nine people were killed Friday in a militant attack that took place in the Malian town of Tenenkou, medical sources from NGOs said.
The sources said that nine people have been killed, including three attackers. The rest were local residents and soldiers, although no official source has confirmed this information.
Traders and villagers told Efe that the jihadis launched a surprise attack Friday, in the morning, and fired gunshots while shouting "Allahu Akbar"(God is great).
Military troops and a large number of citizens then fled the scene of the attack.
The attackers seized key positions in the city and destroyed some means of communications, affecting contact with Bamako. The same town had been attacked by jihadis earlier Jan 8.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), which is deployed near Mopti, has sent troops to expel the jihadis from the city.
A town official said that the Malian troops fled the city to avoid more casualties among civilians, stressing that they decided to make a strategic withdrawal in order to prepare for a counter-attack.
This attack is similar to one that was launched Jan 5 in Nampala in the northern region of the country when a group of jihadis attacked the town's military barracks and killed 10 soldiers.