4 killed in Mali attacks

The photo file of Mali attacks

BAMAKO: Two soldiers and two civilians have been killed and another six people injured in separate roadside-bomb attacks this week in volatile central Mali, said the local government and security officials.

The two civilian victims were women travelling by cart near the town of Mondoro in the West African country’s central Mopti region, according to a local official.

The women were not far from the border with Burkina Faso on Thursday when their cart hit a roadside bomb.

Two children also aboard were “seriously injured” in the attack, a hospital worker said.

Two Malian soldiers were also killed on Wednesday about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Mondoro, a security official said, after they hit a roadside bomb near the town of Hombori.

Four soldiers were also wounded in the attack, the official added.

Mali has been struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency that erupted in the north in 2012, and which has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives since.

Despite some 4,500 French troops in the Sahel region, plus a 13,000-strong UN peacekeeping force in Mali, the conflict has engulfed the centre of the country and spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Mondoro residents interviewed by AFP said they felt increasingly threatened by jihadists.

“They often don’t allow us to enter or leave the town,” said a local official who declined to be named, adding that the Malian army hardly patrols the countryside.

Hiding homemade bombs under well-travelled roads is a frequent means of attack used by jihadists.

Otherwise known as improvised explosive devices, they kill and maim scores of victims every year in Mali.