No one has claimed responsibility for the assault in the central town of Sevare, which coincided with a surge in jihadist attacks spreading through the region in recent months.
"At this stage there is no formal proof that it was the Macina Liberation Front (FLM), but strong suspicions point to this group that has been seeking notoriety at all costs," the source said.
Since it first appeared earlier this year the FLM has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including some targeting security forces in central Mali.
FLM is considered to be linked to Ansar Dine – Arabic for Defenders of Faith -- which is one of the groups that took control of Mali's vast semi-arid north in April 2012.

The United States placed Ansar Dine on its terror blacklist in 2013, accusing it of close links with Al-Qaeda and of torturing and killing opponents in the north.
The deadly siege began early Friday when gunmen burst into the Hotel Byblos, frequented by expatriates.
The Malian army -- along with foreign special forces, according to a Malian military source -- stormed the building, bringing the siege to an end nearly 24 hours later.


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