The Latest: 2 soldiers dead in attack on West African force

June 29, 2018 - 1:15 pm

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The Latest on the attack on the headquarters of a West African counterterror force (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

At least two soldiers have been killed in an attack on the Malian headquarters of a new, five-nation counterterror force in West Africa.

G5 Sahel spokesman Abdoul Salam Diagana tells The Associated Press that several others are injured and the toll "will evolve."

He says two attackers also have been killed, with two others captured.

The force commander says the attack began when a car packed with explosives detonated, shaking the community of Sevare, near the central city of Mopti.

This is the first time the G5 headquarters has been targeted. The 5,000-strong counterterror force launched last year.

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4:20 p.m.

The commander of a new five-nation counterterror force in West Africa says an attack is underway on its headquarters in Mali's central town of Sevare.

Gen. Didier Dacko tells The Associated Press the attack began with a car explosion, and fighting continues. He spoke from Niger.

This is the first time the G5 headquarters has been targeted.

A number of extremist groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group are active in Mali, often attacking local security forces and a U.N. peacekeeping mission.

The 5,000-strong counterterror force launched last year and includes Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger and Mauritania. It has received millions of dollars in backing from the European Union, Saudi Arabia and others.

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