"Around 6 a.m. (06. 00 GMT), unidentified armed men attacked the post in Soumpi. The provisional toll is 14 dead, 17 wounded and two enemies killed. The search is still on for those missing," one of the officers said.
A local official said later that five of the wounded were brought to the town of Niafunke for medical treatment.
Islamic extremists took control of the desert in northern Mali back in 2012, however, were driven from the region a year later. In 2015, the Malian authorities signed an agreement with non-jihadist militant groups, but the deal didn't help a lot in stopping terrorist attacks in the country.