BAMAKO: At least 11 soldiers were killed in Mali on Sunday in an attack on an army base near the border with Burkina Faso, as rival armed factions surrounded the flashpoint city of Timbuktu. The jihadist attack on the border village of Boulekessi killed 11 troops and wounded five more, according to an official toll from the defense ministry. French forces stationed in the troubled west African nation sent helicopters to help Malian forces assess the attack site, the source later added, and 20 soldiers had crossed into Burkinabe territory to flee the violence. A regional security source said the attack was carried out by Ansarul Islam, a jihadist group that claimed an attack in December in which 12 Burkinabe soldiers were killed. There was no official claim of responsibility from the group.