BAMAKO - Gunmen attacked the central Mali town of Tenenkou on Friday, killing at least three people during an intense gun battle with members of the army, local and military sources said.
Mali is still recovering from a period of turmoil that began in 2012 when al Qaeda-linked fighters took over its desert north before a French military operation a year later scattered them. In recent months, these fighters have intensified their attacks.
About 20 gunmen entered Tenenkou on motorbikes early on Friday and opened fire on Malian soldiers who then responded in a three-hour gunfight, a local government source said.
He added that the attackers cried "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) upon arriving, suggesting they were Islamist fighters, although other armed separatist groups also operate in Mali.