Explosive device kills 16 in northern Mali

PUBLISHED: Thu, 20 May 2021 15:09:33 GMT

BAMAKO, May 20 (Reuters) – Sixteen civilians were killed and others injured in northern Mali when their vehicle struck an explosive device, an army spokesman said on Thursday.

The incident took place late on Wednesday near the city of Gao, a part of Mali where militants with ties to al Qaeda regularly attack civilians, Malian and French soldiers and U.N. peacekeepers, army spokesman Souleymane Dembele told Reuters.

He did not say who responsible for laying the device and provided no further details about the incident.

Mali has been wracked by Islamist violence since 2012 when jihadist groups hijacked an uprising by Tuareg separatists in the north. The violence has since spread to other countries in West Africa’s Sahel region despite a costly international military response. (Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; writing by Aaron Ross; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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