Mali: Suicide attack targeted Swedish peacekeepers in Timbuktu

Mali: Suicide attack targeted Swedish peacekeepers in Timbuktu

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Approximate location of the attack

On the evening of October 10, around 20h00 local time, a suicide bomber targeted a Swedish MINUSMA patrol in the town of Timbuktu. While the patrol were conducting a routine mission an unidentified man approached the patrol and detonated an explosive device attached to his body, probably a suicide belt, although the visible damages on the perpetrator’s body is limited. The assailant died in the attack without causing any injuries within the ranks of the Swedish unit, according to statement by the Swedish Armed Forces. Local sources reported that a loud explosion was heard in Timbuktu and that the attacker died behind the General Hospital of Timbuktu in front of headquarters of the NGO Ardil.

Additional reports indicated that the attacker had associates who may have infiltrated the town together with the former and that those still were at large sought by security forces, these reports are still not confirmed.

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Photo of the suicide bomber

Last time a suicide attack occured in Mali was in Gao on May 31 this year, with almost simultaneous attacks targeting the MINUSMA camp and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS). The attack against the camp was carried out by detonation of an SVBIED that resulted in one Chinese peacekeeper killed and two others severely injured, while the other attack was carried out by “inghimasiyyin” (commandos fighting to the death) targeting a hotel hosting UNMAS experts, three contractors were killed in the attack, two being Malian private security officers and one a French UNMAS expert. AQIM’s al-Mourabitoune Brigade claimed responsibility for the attacks.

On February 12 an SVBIED attack targeted the MINUSMA camp in Kidal, this was a complex attack with mortar shells targeting the base to divert the peacekeepers while the vehicle forced the gate open and continued into the camp’s interior to detonate the SVBIED which left seven peacekeepers dead and more than 30 wounded.