- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 12, 2019

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) - Two Malian army vehicles hit explosive devices in the central Mopti region on Tuesday, killing at least six soldiers, the army said.

Mali’s army posted on Twitter that two of the soldiers were in a vehicle near Dialoube and the other four were in a vehicle that hit an explosive device around Hombori.

Dialoube was occupied by jihadist groups in 2016 and liberated by army troops the next year. However, jihadist groups linked to al-Qaida remain active near the village and regularly stage attacks against troops.

Intercommunal conflict has exacerbated the instability in central Mali. Some ethnic groups, such as the Fulani, have been accused of supporting extremists, while other groups are thought to be loyal to the army.

A U.N. security official earlier had said earlier Tuesday that seven soldiers died in the explosions.

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