Two suspects have been arrested after seven soldiers were killed in two separate attacks on patrols in the centre-west of the country.

Malian soldiers are pictured during a patrol with soldiers from the new Takuba force near Niger border in Dansongo Circle, Mali on August 23, 2021.
Malian soldiers are pictured during a patrol with soldiers from the new Takuba force near Niger border in Dansongo Circle, Mali on August 23, 2021. (Reuters)

Seven Malian soldiers have been killed in separate attacks in the most recent violence to affect the Sahel state.

At around 11:20 GMT, an army escort was ambushed near the town of Mourdiah, 200 km north of the capital Bamako. The attack left two dead and three injured, the army said on in a online statement published on Saturday.

Two hours later an army truck struck a roadside bomb near Segou, around 200 kilometres north-east of Bamako, killing all five passengers, the army said.

READ MORE: Six troops killed, 15 UN peacekeepers wounded in separate Mali attacks 

"A sweep of the area where the incident took place led to the arrest of two suspects who were immediately handed over to the gendarmerie," the army reports. No group has been accused of responsibility for either attack.

Violent conflict 

Mali has been struggling to contain an insurgency that first erupted in its north in 2012, and has since gone on to claim thousands of military and civilian lives.

Despite the presence of thousands of French and UN troops, the conflict has engulfed central Mali and spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

READ MORE: Mali suffers a toxic mix of climate change, militancy and corporate looting

Central Mali has become one of the epicentres of the Sahel-wide conflict, where ethnic killings and attacks on government forces are frequent.

Laying roadside bombs is a common tactic of militant groups in the region.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies