Daily Trust (Abuja)

Mali: Suicide Bomber Blows Self Near Mali Soldiers

Photo: Brahima Ouedraogo/IRIN
Islamist fighters in northern Mali.

A suicide bomber has blown himself up in Goa, northern Mali - the first since the French-led troops began assault on insurgents.

The attacker approached a group of soldiers on a motorbike before detonating an explosive belt, injuring one of them, witnesses told the BBC.

An al-Qaeda offshoot has claimed responsibility for the attack in the north's most populous city.

Meanwhile, rival army factions have exchanged fire in the capital, Bamako.

Heavily-armed regular soldiers attacked a camp of elite "Red Beret" paratroopers, reportedly leaving many injured. Yesterday, French forces surged into another town in north Mali, wresting Tessalit near the Algerian border from control of insurgents as the conflict's first suicide bombing increased fears of terror attacks.

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Islamist fighters in northern Mali.

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