June 26 (Bloomberg) -- As many as six Mauritanian soldiers were injured in an attack on an al-Qaeda camp in neighboring Mali last week as the African nations step-up their fight against crime and terrorism in the region, according to the Ministry of Defense of Mali.
“Heavy gunfire between the bandits and the armed forces wounded five or six soldiers within the Mauritanian army,” said Nouhoum Togo, spokesman for Mali’s Ministry of Defense, in a phone interview today.
The injured soldiers, part of a joint operation by Mali and Mauritania, were flown to safety in helicopters belonging to Mali’s military, he said.
Mali, Algeria, Mauritania and Niger have set up a joint force to secure their shared Sahara-Sahel desert zone and jointly fight terrorism in the region, the countries said in a statement in May.
--Editors: Alastair Reed, Tony Aarons.
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