5 dead in Mali

2013-05-05 14:46


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bamako - A suicide bomber on a scooter attacked a Malian army patrol in the troubled northern city of Gao on Saturday as other militants in a car sprayed the troops with gunfire sparking a clash that left three suspected militants and two soldiers dead, an official said.

The attack, in which four other soldiers were wounded, underscores the challenges facing the country following a French-led military intervention, which succeeded in liberating the three main towns occupied by the al-Qaeda-linked groups in northern Mali. While the initial military campaign has succeeded in securing the largest population centres in the north, the extremists have found refuge in sparsely populated areas, from where they strike using roadside bombs and suicide attacks.

Lieutenant colonel Souleymane Maiga, head of public relations for the Malian army, told The Associated Press that a unit of Malian soldiers was on patrol at around 13:30 near the village of Amakouladji, located 45km north of Gao, when they spotted a suspicious man on a scooter and stopped him. While they were searching him, a car surged forward, and began spraying the troops with machine gunfire.

"That was when the jihadist on the motorcycle set off the bomb that he was wearing," Maiga said.

Two soldiers and three militants died, and four other Malian soldiers were wounded in the attack, he said. No foreign troops were involved.

France sent around 4 000 troops to Mali in January after the jihadists, who had already taken over a territory as large as France itself, began pushing south, threatening the last bastion of government control. It was just a matter of weeks before they succeeded in flushing out the militants from the three main northern cities and in early February, French President Francois Hollande made a triumphant stop in Timbuktu, which just days earlier had served as the Malian headquarters of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

It was only a matter of days before the suicide bombings began, first in Gao, where there have been at least four, then in Kidal and Timbuktu, which have had two each, respectively. The suicide bombings have so far not caused mass casualties in large part because they are mostly going off at checkpoints, killing the soldiers stationed there.

Saturday's attack appears to be more sophisticated, involving a double attack using the car as a distraction.

Read more on:    mali  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.