Seven Malian soldiers died Monday during fighting with suspected jihadist militants in the tense border region near Niger, the army said on Twitter.
A statement said an army patrol was engaged by “terrorists” near the northeastern town of Tabankort and suffered “seven deaths and 15 injured along with material damage.”
A counterattack was backed by troops from France and Niger, it added.
Mali’s army has been struggling to contain the Islamist insurgency since 2012, despite help from France, African neighbours and the United Nations.
Two recent attacks have claimed the lives of about 100 Malian soldiers.