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Four Malian soldiers killed in mine explosions: sources

Since the overthrow of Moamer Kadhafi's regime in Libya, weapons have travelled freely from the chaotic state in an arc of unrest through Mali and Niger (AFP Photo/SOULEYMANE AG ANARA)

Bamako (AFP) - Four Malian soldiers were killed Thursday and seven others injured in landmine explosions in the centre of the sprawling country, the defence ministry said.

It was a "complex attack in which the enemy planted landmines on the road and then opened fire," a statement said.

It said four soldiers died and seven were injured in the morning attack when they were on a mission to get supplies.

An officer stationed at Segou, one of the main cities in the region, confirmed the attack and said it took place in the village of N'Goma Coura.

"Two army cars were charred after three landmines exploded," the officer said, adding that several soldiers were injured in the morning attack.

He said army reinforcements had been sent to the area.

On October 5, two Malian soldiers died and two were seriously injured in a landmine blast near the fabled city of Timbuktu in the country's northeast.

Northern Mali fell into the hands of jihadists linked to Al-Qaeda in early 2012 -- briefly backed by Tuareg-led rebels -- throwing the country into chaos.

An ongoing international military intervention that began in January 2013 has driven Islamist fighters away from the major urban centres they had briefly controlled, but large tracts of Mali are still not controlled by domestic or foreign troops.