French army finds explosives cache in Mali

2013-06-14 11:05
A homemade bomb is pictured in a courtyard of an abandoned house in the centre of northern Mali's largest city Gao. (Pascal Guyot, AFP)

A homemade bomb is pictured in a courtyard of an abandoned house in the centre of northern Mali's largest city Gao. (Pascal Guyot, AFP)

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Bamako - French soldiers have uncovered a workshop for producing explosives in northern Mali.

The find, which included the largest cache in months, was made this week in Bourem, a northern Malian town on the Niger river, between Gao and Timbuktu, the French army said late on Thursday.

The workshop contained 5 000kg of fertiliser, intended to be used as explosive for making suicide bomber vests, French army spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Cyril Zimmer told dpa.

The workshop was found in a house in a remote area of the town. "There was fabric and thread and sewing equipment in one room and then this huge haul of one hundred bags of fertiliser, each weighing 50 kilograms," Zimmer said.

Mali's interim government is currently in the process of negotiating a peace agreement with separatist Tuareg rebel groups that control parts of northern Mali. The agreement is meant to pave the way for elections on 28 July.

"This discovery shows that despite the successes we had in earlier months of this year, there are still people out there preparing for these kinds of [suicide] missions," Zimmer said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    mali  |  west africa
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