Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Cameroon's Constitutional Court rejects last petition for re-run

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Music stars, French art and a dead cat's renaissance

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Khashoggi Affair: Evidence mounts against Saudi Crown Prince

Read more

#TECH 24

Next stop space: Japanese company constructing nanotube 'space lift'

Read more

#THE 51%

The Gender Divide: Record number of women running in U.S. midterms

Read more

REPORTERS

Reporters: Brexit, a sea of uncertainty for fishermen

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Fishing in France's Grau du Roi harbour, a family tradition

Read more

FOCUS

French education reforms under tight scrutiny

Read more

ENCORE!

FIAC 2018: Paris's one-stop shop for Contemporary Art collectors

Read more

Africa

Civilians killed in attack on French anti-terror force in northern Mali

© Ludovic Marin, AFP | The soldiers were attacked near a northern exit in Gao, northern Mali.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-07-02

A bomb-laden car on Sunday rammed into a patrol convoy carrying soldiers belonging to the French counter-terror force Barkhane in the northern Malian city of Gao, killing at least four civilians, officials said.

The Malian defence ministry said that in addition to the deaths, at least 31 people, including eight French soldiers, were injured in the attack near the northern exit of the city.

The ministry had initially said that French soldiers were among the dead, but they later revised that statement. A French army spokesman confirmed that a patrol of around 30 soldiers had come under attack in Gao on Sunday and that there were a number of civilians killed, but would not immediately give more details.

Anonymous sources told Reuters that the car bomb attack had been followed by a near 15-minute long shoot-out between the attackers and the soldiers.

"There are several injured among the French soldiers who were travelling in two vehicles and which were completely destroyed in the explosion. Their base has been evacuated."

Photos posted on social media showed black smoke billowing from an armoured vehicle surrounded by debris on a sandy road.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack which comes as over 40 African heads of state are meeting for an African Union summit in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott with security high on the agenda.

On Friday, a suicide attack on the Mali headquarters of a regional Sahel force known as G5 killed two soldiers and a civilian.

France has deployed around 4,500 French troops in West Africa's Sahel region as part of Operation Barkhane aimed at tackling Islamist militants in the region.

The Sahel region with its huge expanse of remote desert is home to several jihadist groups. The area has seen several armed attacks on targets in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast in recent years.

France began a military intervention in Mali in January 2013 to drive out al Qaeda-linked militants who hijacked a rebellion in 2012 by ethnic Tuaregs and attempted to take control of the central government in Bamako.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2018-07-01

  • MALI

    Headquarters of G5 Sahel anti-terror force attacked in central Mali

    Read more

  • MALI

    Several French soldiers injured in latest Mali attack

    Read more

  • MALI

    Two French soldiers killed by explosive device in Mali

    Read more

COMMENT(S)