Suspected militants ambushed a patrol in western Mali late on Wednesday, leaving eight soldiers dead and seven others injured, the army said in a statement on Thursday.
The attack occurred near the town of Nara, around 30 km (19 miles) south of border with Mauritania.
“A unit in the Nara area was the target of a complex attack combining IEDs and heavy weapons,” the statement said.
Mali is the epicenter of an armed uprising that began in the north of the country in 2012. Despite the presence of French and United Nations troops, the Islamist insurgency has spread to Niger, Burkina Faso and is flourishing across Africa’s Sahel region.
Thousands of people across the region have died and about two million have been displaced by the conflict.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the ambush.