Two Mali soldiers killed in landmine blast

AFP , Thursday 31 Jan 2013

A security source says two Malian soldiers were killed as army vehicle was 'blown up' by a landmine between the two central towns Douentza and Hombori

At least two Malian soldiers were killed Thursday when their vehicle drove over a landmine between two central towns that were recaptured from Islamist insurgents last week, a security source said.

"A Malian army vehicle was blown up on Thursday by a landmine between Douentza and Hombori. At least two were killed," the source said on condition of anonymity.

"We strongly suspect the Islamists placed this landmine. It happened in an area which had been under their control. But we don't know if it was placed before they left or if they came back to place it."

Hombori, 920 kilometres north east of the capital Bamako, was taken by French-led troops on January 25 without resistance from the Islamists who had occupied it nine months earlier.

It was in this town that two Frenchmen were kidnapped by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in September 2011.

Douentza, about 100 kilometres south from Hombori, was seized by the Islamists in September last year and lay on the frontline with government-held territory until the insurgent's push south in January which sparked the French offensive.

The French and Malian troops recaptured it on January 21.

French troops have warned against landmines or homemade bombs lying around recently liberated towns that could have been left by the fleeing Islamists.

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