After a skirmish with rebels in the northeast of the West African country, 8 Malian troops were killed and 14 others were injured.
In the Archam area, along the border with Burkina Faso and Niger, troops were attacked by “unidentified armed individuals.”
The army, supported by the air force, killed 57 of the rebels in the tri-border area near Burkina Faso, the Ministry of Defense said late Friday.
Mali is at the heart of a Sahel-wide conflict that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of troops and civilians.
This week, around 40 people were slain in this zone, which is contested by different armed factions, including ISIL (ISIS)
In the highly permeable border areas of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, rebel groups associated with al-Qaeda and ISIL control large swaths of territories.
Mali, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania are all home to the Barkhane force. In the Sahel area, France has around 4,300 troops, including 2,400 in Mali.
Multiple blockages by Mali’s governing military administration meant that the conditions to operate in the nation were no longer in place, according to a statement signed on Thursday by France and its African and European partners.
The decision to leave Mali affects both Barkhane and the Takuba European army that France and its allies were aiming to assemble.
In December, France and 15 other European nations denounced Malian authorities for allowing the deployment of mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner Group, which has apparently begun operations in the country.