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Militants kill four Malian soldiers in ambush

BAMAKO (Reuters) - Four Malian solders were killed and 12 wounded on Thursday after militants ambushed a military anti-poaching patrol in the violence-plagued central region of Mopti, the army said.

Mali was rocked last week by a coup that ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, which international powers fear could further destabilise the country and undermine the fight against insurgents there and in the wider Sahel region.

Islamist groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State operate in arid central and northern Mali, using the area as a base to attack soldiers and civilians in neighboring Burkina Faso, Niger and beyond.

Reinforcements have been sent to the area of the Mopti attack around 25 km (16 miles) from the town of Konna, the army said in a statement.

Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; editing by John Stonestreet

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