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Suicide bombers kill 2 Malians in army camp attack: Military

Mali's been target of terror attacks since France launched operations against Al-Qaeda groups.

Written by PTI | Bamako |
September 28, 2013 10:00:35 pm

Two suicide bombers let off explosives in a car in front of a military camp in the northern Malian desert city of Timbuktu on Saturday,killing two civilians,military sources said.

“Two suicide bombers on board a car exploded next to our military camp. They are both dead. There were two civilians in a horsecart who were also killed. We are in a state of high alert,” a Malian soldier at the camp told AFP.

An African military source from the United Nations’ MINUSMA peacekeeping mission confirmed the attack,the first suicide bombing in the mainly Tuareg and Arab northern caravan town since March.

“Suicide bombers have infiltrated Timbuktu. They came to the camp to blow up their vehicle and they died,” he said.

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Mali has been the target of a series of attacks claimed by Islamist insurgents since France launched a military operation in January against Al-Qaeda-linked groups occupying the north of the country.

The French-led operation forced the extremists from the cities they seized in the chaotic aftermath of a military coup that overthrew Mali’s government in March 2012.

Residual groups of these fighters are no longer able to carry out coordinated assaults,but they are still capable of regular small-scale attacks,mainly against Malian and French soldiers.

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On March 21,a suicide bomber blew up a car near the Timbuktu airport at the start of an overnight assault on the city,killing a Malian soldier.

Today’s attack came a day after after two men threw hand-grenades at Malian troops in the ethnic-Tuareg northern rebel bastion of Kidal,wounding two soldiers.

Both incidents follow the suspension of peace talks on Thursday between Tuareg and Arab rebels who want autonomy for northern Mali and the government.

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The Tuareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) took control of Kidal in February after the French-led military operation ousted Al-Qaeda-linked fighters who had piggybacked on the latest Tuareg rebellion to seize most of northern Mali.

The Al-Qaeda-backed militants had chased out their former MNLA allies and imposed a brutal form of Islamic law.

The Malian authorities reclaimed the city after signing a ceasefire deal with the MNLA in June but the situation has remained tense.

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First published on: 28-09-2013 at 10:00:35 pm
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