The explosion that rocked Gao late Saturday (February 9th) was a suicide bombing at a Malian army checkpoint, AFP reported. Troops from Mali and Niger had already increased patrols and fortified checkpoints with sandbags and heavy machine guns after a similar attack at the same spot a day earlier.
On Friday, a man dressed in a paramilitary uniform drove up to the checkpoint on a motorcycle and detonated an explosive-rigged belt. A Malian soldier was lightly wounded.
The bombing was claimed by al-Qaeda splinter group Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO).
In a statement issued Saturday before the second suicide bombing, the MUJAO had warned of new attacks.