BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The Malian military says at least 15 soldiers are dead after an attack in northern Mali.

The death toll from the violence that took place in the Menaka area was announced late Friday on the Malian armed forces' Twitter account.

The attack was expected to further raise tensions in the capital of Bamako, where military families already have protested in the streets. Relatives say soldiers in the sprawling West African Sahel nation are not being adequately protected as they face an array of jihadi groups.

Friday's violence comes about a month after 41 soldiers were killed and others 20 went missing during two attacks on Malian soldiers taking part in a regional counterterrorism force.