BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — A United Nations security official says seven Malian soldiers have died after their vehicle hit an explosive device in central Mali's Mopti region near Dialoube.

Mali army spokesman Col. Diarran Kone confirmed Tuesday's attack but said there was not yet an official casualty report.

The U.N. official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to press on the matter.

Dialoube was occupied by jihadist groups in 2016 before being liberated by the Malian army in 2017. However, jihadist groups linked to al-Qaida remain near the village and regularly stage attacks against Mali's army.

Insecurity in central Mali has also grown to include intercommunal conflict. Ethnic groups including the Fulani are accused of supporting extremists, while others are believed to be loyal to Mali's army.