Helicopters from 'Operation Barkhane', France's anti-terrorist operation in Africa's Sahel and Sahara, were sent to Boulikessi following an attack from suspected jihadists on 5 March 2017 PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images

A terror attack against a Malian army post on the border with Burkina Faso on 5 March has left at least 11 dead and four wounded, according to reports.

Al-Qaeda-linked groups have recently been moving into previously untouched parts of Africa, as Islamist terrorists seek to gain exposure in the Sahel, and neighbouring Burkina Faso, with which Mali shares a porous border.

France's 2013 military intervention, and UN peacekeeping missions, have since returned control of the region to the Malian government, but authorities have subsequently intensified their military offensive against Islamist groups which continue to operate across the vast desert areas in the north.

At least 11 soldiers from the Malian army were killed and four wounded after a group of armed men attacked the military post in the Malian village of Boulikessi, located on the border with Burkina Faso, on Sunday 5 March.

RFI reported the attackers arrived on a motorcycle and on board at least two vehicles before gunshots were heard and vehicles burned. Other soldiers were able to return to Burkina Faso.

French forces engaged in the anti-insurgent Operation Barkhane sent helicopters to Boulikessi, according to two military sources quoted by RFI.

Security sources have attributed the attack to a jihadist group led by a Burkinabe radical preacher, Ibrahim Malam Dicko, which has recently been conducting operations in both countries.

Boulikessi borders the Malian province of Soum and Oudalan in Burkina Faso – areas that were recently attacked by the same terrorist group.