Malian soldiers patrol the streets. At least 40 people died in fighting between Malian soldiers and terrorists in central Mali, the West African country said late on Tuesday. File photo: Jerome Delay/AP.

Bamako - At least 40 people died in fighting between Malian soldiers and terrorists in central Mali, the West African country said late on Tuesday.

Government spokesperson Yaya Sangare said in a statement that 25 Mali Armed Forces (FAMa) soldiers were killed and some 60 more were missing after jihadists on Monday attacked army camps in Boulkessi and Mondoro in the central Mopti region.

The army was able to "reoccupy" the camp in Boulkessi on Tuesday evening, Sangare said in an emailed statement, adding that at least 15 terrorists were killed in the operation.

Mali's centre and north have experienced regular flare-ups of violence and attacks in the wake of a 2012 military coup that saw separatist rebel groups and later al-Qaeda associated militants take control of the region.

French and African military operations, alongside the Malian army's efforts, scattered militants and restored government control over the area, but rebel activities and military operations continue in some areas, despite the signing of various peace agreements.

dpa