World, Africa

Landmine explosion kills 3 soldiers in Mali

Military says blast occurred during counterterrorism sweep in Mopti region

28.12.2017
Landmine explosion kills 3 soldiers in Mali FILE PHOTO

By Felix Nkambeh Tih

ANKARA

Three Malian soldiers were killed in a landmine explosion on Thursday while conducting a counterterrorism operation, the army said.

"The Malian army became the victim of a mine explosion while tracking down terrorists," a statement on the military's website said. "The incident occurred on Thursday… in Bulkessy, Mopti region. Three killed and several injured."

Bulkessy lies near the eastern border with Burkina Faso. Several insurgent groups are active in Mali, where French troops and UN peacekeepers are based.

The military added that unidentified gunmen had attacked army positions in Koro, Mopti on Wednesday night. "The Malian armed forces repelled the attackers," it said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

A Tuareg rebellion in 2012 opened the door for al-Qaeda-linked militants to take over the northern half of the country. They were mostly expelled by a French-led operation launched a year later but swathes of the country remain subject to regular attacks that have spread southwards.

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