Suicide blast kills more than 40 in northern Mali military camp

Militants killed at least 42 people and wounded more than 100 others when they detonated an explosives-laden vehicle inside a military camp in Mali's northern city of Gao on Wednesday, the deadliest suicide bomb attack in the country's history, Reuters reported.

The attack struck at the heart of still fragile efforts by the government and rival armed groups to work together to quell the violence that has plagued the restive desert north for years.

The bombers forced their way into the camp shortly before 9 a.m. (0900 GMT), running over several people before blowing up the vehicle just as 600 soldiers were assembling, said Radhia Achouri, a spokeswoman Mali's U.N. peacekeeping force MINUSMA.

A Reuters reporter at the site soon after the blast saw dozens of bodies lying on the ground alongside the wounded as ambulances rushed to the camp and helicopters circled overhead.

"I've just left the hospital where there were bodies ripped to pieces and wounded piled up," said Gao resident Kader Toure.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita declared three days of national mourning.

State media put the death toll at 47, including five suicide bombers, and army spokesman Diarran Kone said that 115 people were also wounded.

News.Az

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