Mali’s Justice Minister on Monday disclosed that 21 prisoners were freed in a jail break which occured late Sunday.
Mamadou Ismael Konate said an attack in the town of Banamba, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of the capital Bamako, led to the release, adding that a prison guard was missing after the raid.
An army spokesperson confirmed the attack which he said took place around 2100 GMT. The town is reportedly under siege on Monday morning.
It was not clear who was responsible for the raid and the gunmen responsible for today’s attack also remain unknown.
The French already have a significant amount of troops on ground in the country as they help local forces to stem the spread of terrorist groups that have destabilized the north and are threatening to move to other parts of the country.
The main objectives of the the United Nations peacekeeping (Minusma,) has been to support the implementation of the peace agreement in Mali, whiles promoting reconciliation in the country and to also protect the civilian population.
Over a year after the Malian government and various rebel groups stamped a peace agreement, the situation in the country remains very volatile, especially in the north, where the state still has no control.
The political situation remains unstable since the coup of four years ago, when rebel Tuareg groups with other insurgents, took control of the north of the country for ten months until they were expelled through international intervention led by France in January the following year.
The United State ordered the departure of eligible family members 21 and younger and authorized the departure of their accompanying adult parents from the U.S. Embassy in Bamako.
It also cautioned citizens about the activities of violent groups that were targeting foreigners.