Sixteen soldiers were killed and 10 wounded in an attack that occurred near the village of Bodio in central Mali, local officials said.
Officials say the death toll could climb after militants, who arrived on motorbikes and in cars, attacked a military base in the Gao region.
Mali held its long-delayed parliamentary election despite an insurgency in its central and northern regions, concerns about coronavirus and the recent kidnapping of the main opposition leader.
The military outpost at Guire district was attacked at around five in the morning after approaching in a convoy of 11 vehicles.
French-backed militarisation in Mali is aimed at protecting its economic interests, and only compounds Mali's problems.
Doha airlifts 24 armoured vehicles to the West African Sahel country that has been struggling to return to stability amid its fight against militants.
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