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Mali Conflict: 5 suicide bombers killed in an attack on Malian and Nigerian troops



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The spokesman for the Malian army has said that five suicide bombers died in northern Mali on Friday in attacks aimed at Malian and Nigerien troops in the north of the country.

The attacks according to Lieutenant Colonel Souleymane Maiga happened in two separate locations on late Friday but the attackers failed to hit their target.

One of the towns hit was Gossi where the militants have struck in a guerrilla war launched against Malian and regional forces since the militants were driven from their former strongholds in a French-led offensive this year.

“The first attack targeted Nigerien soldiers in Menaka where car bomb entered the military camp, but the soldiers … destroyed the vehicle, which exploded,” Lieutenant Maiga told Reporters.

“At the same time in Gossi, three suicide bombers on foot attacked a checkpoint. Again the soldiers … shot them and the three bombers were killed as well,” he added.

But an anonymous military source told local reporters that two Malian soldiers sustained minor injuries and were quickly rushed to hospital for treatment.

A bus driver passing through Gossi, 150 km southwest of Gao, told reporters he saw dismembered body parts strewn along the road, which links Gao and the capital Bamako which were the bodies of the militants.

The militants attacks have had limited success so far political analysts say it will threaten to undermine international calls for elections to be held across Mali in July this year.

Last week, two Malian soldiers were killed in a similar suicide attack in Gao but the joint forces currently in combat operation say they will win the conflict over the militants.

But the French President Francois Hollande has re-echoed his call for elections to be  held in July across the entire country.

“No part of Mali should be deprived of the possibility of organizing an election,” President Hollande told journalists in Paris.

France is looking to withdraw thousands of troops from its former colony and hand over security duties to a 12,600-strong United Nations peacekeeping it has pushed before the UN Security Council to establish and will be deployed to Mali from July 1.

An inside anonymous from the Malian government has it that the Malian interim government will from next week ask donors for nearly two billion Euros to help rebuild the country and try to prevent militants again taking advantage of a weak state.

The militants took advantage of a coup d’état staged by captain Amadou Sanogo in 2012 coupled with the Tuareg rebellion which forced France to intervene alongside Africa Union and regional forces.

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