World, Africa

5 killed in land mine blast, ambush on troops in Mali

Separate attacks blamed on al-Qaeda-linked terrorists

5 killed in land mine blast, ambush on troops in Mali file photo

By Moussa Bolly


Five civilians were killed and three injured in two separate attacks in Mali, the government said late Monday.

Four died when a minibus hit a land mine near Lellehoye, a village in the eastern Gao region on Monday, the Defense Ministry said in a Facebook post.

Also Monday, a civilian army employee was killed in an ambush on Malian soldiers escorting equipment for German troops deployed as part of the UN mission.

The attack 30 kilometers (19 miles) east of Konna in the central region of Mopti left three soldiers wounded when motorbike riders attacked the convoy, the ministry said.

No group claimed immediate responsibility for the attacks but security officials blamed extremist groups operating in west Africa’s Sahel region.

Terror attacks are commonplace in northern and central Mali, where al-Qaeda-linked groups have operated for several years.

In 2012, militants seized northern Mali, leading to France’s military intervention a year later. Around 4,000 French troops are posted the Sahel as part of a cross-border counter-terrorism operation.

On Monday, local media reported that a French attack on militants in the Abeibara region led to the accidental deaths of 11 Malian soldiers on Oct. 23.

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