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Mali hit by first suicide bombing as rebels turn towards guerrilla tactics

Published on Feb 9, 2013 9:44 AM

GAO, Mali (AFP) - An Islamist suicide bomber blew himself up in Mali, the country's first such attack, as the rebels' turn toward guerrilla tactics and clashes between rival soldiers showed that the war is far from won.

An attacker on Friday rode a motorcycle up to an army checkpoint in Gao, the largest town in the north, and detonated an explosive belt, wounding one soldier, an officer said.

The young Tuareg was dressed as a paramilitary officer and also carried a larger bomb that failed to detonate.

The attack was claimed by the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), one of a trio of Islamist groups that occupied northern Mali for 10 months before France sent in fighter jets, attack helicopters and 4,000 troops to drive them out.

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