- Title: Mali defence minister visits bomb attack victims in hospital
- Date: 18th January 2017
- Summary: GAO, MALI (JANUARY 18, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE GAO HOSPITAL WHERE INJURED SOLDIERS WERE TAKEN AFTER ATTACK MALI DEFENCE MINISTER ABDOULAYE IDRISSA MAIGA WITH OFFICIALS ARRIVING AT HOSPITAL VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS IN BEDS MAIGA AND MILITARY OFFICIALS VISITING SOLDIERS SOLDIERS IN BEDS MILITARY OFFICIALS VISITING SOLDIERS DOCTORS TENDING TO SOLDIER LEG OF SOLDIER IN CAST SOLDIERS IN BEDS (SOUNDBITE) (French) MALI DEFENCE MINISTER, ADBOULAYE IDRISSA MAIGA, SAYING: "The death toll is high, and it also sends a message, a message to all that reminds us of the environment in which we are, the harsh reality of the environment in which we live, so we should accept it as such. What is this environment? It's an environment of a war with no name." SOLDIERS SITTING AND WAITING TO BE TREATED (SOUNDBITE) (French) MALI DEFENCE MINISTER, ABDOULAYE IDRISSA MAIGA, SAYING: "We are not used to this kind of violence. These are practices that are imported here to turn us away from the path of peace, and this is why I think the message we all carry, we should take it with dignity, raise awareness, and look ahead to a better future." SIGN READING (French): HOSPITALISATION / SURGERY VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS IN AMBULANCE CIVIL PROTECTION AMBULANCE IN HOSPITAL COURTYARD
- Embargoed: 1st February 2017 20:01
- Keywords: Mali bombing hospital victims injured defence minister
- Location: GAO, MALI
- City: GAO, MALI
- Country: Mali
- Topics: Bombing (non-military),Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0015ZM135Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Mali's defence minister, Adboulaye Idrissa Maiga, visited a hospital on Wednesday (January 18) where soldiers were being treated for injuries they received after a suicide bomber targeted their military base in the north of the country.
Maiga arrived at the hospital in Gao and spent some time with the soldiers, who sustained various injuries from the blast.
Al Mourabitoun, an Islamist group linked to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack what killed at least 42 people and wounded more than 100 others, according to a Mauritanian news agency.
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 for Mali's U.N. peacekeeping force MINUSMA.
The camp housed government soldiers and members of rival armed groups who were due soon to begin conducting joint patrols under a U.N.-brokered peace deal aimed at easing local tensions so that the government can focus on fighting Islamist militants.
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita declared three days of national mourning.
State media put Wednesday's death toll at 47, including five suicide bombers, and army spokesman Diarran Kone said 115 others were wounded. A U.N. spokesperson later said between 50 and 60 people had died, but did not say whether the figure included the bombers.
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.
Al Mourabitoun is believed to have carried out a number of high-profile attacks across military and civilian targets in Mali and other West African nations.
Together with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Massina Liberation Front, it claimed an assault by jihadist gunmen on a Radisson hotel in the capital, Bamako, in November 2015 in which 20 people were killed.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None