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March 31, 2013

2 Killed, 1 Wounded in Mali Blasts

Officials in northern Mali say a suicide bomber attacked an army barricade Saturday in Timbuktu, wounding one soldier.

Earlier Saturday, a Malian armed forces vehicle drove over a land mine east of Timbuktu, killing two soldiers.

Mali has been the target of a series of attacks claimed by Islamist insurgents since France launched a military intervention against al-Qaida-linked groups that had seized northern Mali. France began its operation in Mali in January.

French President Francois Hollande has said France plans to begin pulling its troops out of northern Mali in April.



Analysts warn a French withdrawal could leave northern Mali vulnerable to a renewed militant takeover. The Malian army was not able to fight the militants on its own. However, a multi-nation African force being assembled needs more training and equipment to protect Malian towns.