At least 17 soldiers and four civilians were killed on Sunday, with nine others missing, after an attack attributed to Islamists in the town of Tessit in the area close to the borders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, which is frequently the scene of clashes and attacks.
There were at least two other jihadist attacks on Sunday - killing 12 civilians on Saturday in central Mali and five police officers on Sunday in the south-west.
The death toll from the attack in Tessit, however, is still provisional and likely to change - according to a Malian army statement released Monday.
The army said it had killed seven people in Tessit thought to be from the Islamic State in the Great Sahara, using drone and artillery support to set off explosives.
The Malian army also reported 22 wounded in its ranks, plus significant damage to civilian homes, including vehicles and military installations.
Mali has been under threat from Islamist militants since 2012, initially confined to the north but has spread to central and southern Mali, as well as to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.