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Militants Attack Airport in Northern Mali Town of Gao

Militants have hit two airports in northern Mali overnight with a suicide truck attack and rockets, security sources said on Wednesday.

The offices of the U.N. peacekeeping mission next to the airport were razed by the explosion in Gao, forcing the airport to close; Reuters reported.

There were no fatalities beyond the attackers whose number has not yet been confirmed. The U.N. security source said two people on site were injured. French soldiers took forensic evidence from among a tangle of papers, corrugated iron sheets and fragments of the attacker's flesh and bones strewn next to the runway.

Al Mourabitoun, a group closely linked to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), claimed the attack on social media. Gao, which was seized by terrorists in 2012 who were driven out by French forces a year later, is considered the best-secured town in northern Mali with multiple U.N., French and Malian army checkpoints along main roads.

A U.N. security source said that the attackers had passed through the regular checkpoints easily by using vehicles with a U.N. label. A spokesman for the 13,000-strong U.N. mission could not immediately confirm the information.

Source: Al Alam

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