Voters in Mali cast their ballots to decide whether to give the current president a second term or not.

A man casts his vote during the presidential election in Bamako, Mali July, 29 2018.
A man casts his vote during the presidential election in Bamako, Mali July, 29 2018. (Reuters)

Voters in Mali are voting to select a president amid increasing attacks by extremist groups linked to al-Qaida and Daesh.

Voters expressed concern about being targeted after al-Qaida's Mali branch warned against going to the polls. 

Deadly communal clashes between ethnic groups and accusations of heavy-handed counter-terror operations also have complicated what President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita hopes will be a victory giving him a second term.

Keita, who was elected in 2013, faces 23 candidates in the first round.

His main challenger, Soumaila Cisse, has criticised the president for not addressing Mali's rising insecurity.

Several political parties have expressed doubts about a valid election after duplicate and fictitious polling stations were listed on the electoral commission's website. 

More than 8 million voters are registered.

Source: AP