Two killed, one injured in Mali blasts

Mali’s Defense Ministry said two soldiers died on Saturday when their vehicle hit a land mine in the country’s Gao region.

“A Malian armed forces detachment’s vehicle was blown up by a mine 110 kilometers (70 miles) from Ansongo. The toll is two dead and the vehicle destroyed,” the ministry said in a statement.

In the second incident, a bomber attacked an army barricade in the northern city of Timbuktu on Saturday and wounded a soldier.

An army officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the attacker “detonated his explosive belt after trying unsuccessfully to force his way through the barricade at the west entrance to Timbuktu, which was guarded by Malian soldiers.”

He added that the bomber lost his life immediately, giving no further details.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Insecurity continues to plague Mali despite the presence of thousands of French and African troops.

On January 11, France launched a war in Mali under the pretext of halting the advance of fighters who had taken control of the north of the West African country. The United States, Canada, Britain, Belgium, Germany, and Denmark aided the move.

The French-led war in Mali has caused a serious humanitarian crisis in the northern areas of the country and has displaced thousands of people, who now live in deplorable conditions.

The northern Malians say the blockade of the area by French and Malian troops has undermined the activities of healthcare workers in several refugee camps. Most of the camps have dire shortages of necessities such as food and medicine.

On February 1, Amnesty International said “serious human rights breaches” – including the killing of children – were occurring during the French war in Mali.


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