Mali troops foil second suicide attack in Gao

Women and children walk past a madras in Gao, northern Mali, on February 7. (AP)

Women and children walk past a madras in Gao, northern Mali, on February 7. (AP)

This is the second attempted suicide attack on the same location in two days, a Malian military source and a witness said on Sunday.

"It was another suicide bomber ... the soldiers saw him coming and shot at him and he exploded," the military source, stationed at the checkpoint on the road coming into Gao from Bourem to the north, told Reuters.

Besides the bomber who was blown apart, no other casualties were reported in the incident at the Saharan town, which was recaptured late last month by French and Malian troops who drove out al-Qaeda-allied Islamist insurgents.

Residents of Gao heard the explosion late on Saturday and a neighbour living close by the checkpoint,  Abderaman Idrissa, told Reuters he found a body part outside his home.

On Friday, a suicide bomber on a motorbike blew himself up at the same checkpoint, injuring a Malian soldier.

The incidents have raised fears of more guerrilla attacks and suicide bombings against French and African forces as they secure towns retaken from the the Islamist rebels and pursue them in the mountains of north-east Mali. - Reuters

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