The militants have already been driven out of Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal, but the Malian army and the French military forces still face stiff resistance by the Islamist fighters.
The French military contingent moved into the troubled West African state on January 10 and is scheduled to withdraw in March, replaced by a combined African force and UN peacekeepers.
At least four Malian soldiers died when their car ran over a landmine on Thursday.
The tragedy happened on a road connecting the northern cities of Gao and Duenza. Responsibility for the attack was taken by the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa group.
In a communiqué released on Thursday the group announced the creation of a “new resistance front” and an unspecified number of suicide bombers ready to act.
Voice of Russia, RIA, IF, TASS