BAMAKO (AFP) – At least two Chadian soldiers were killed Friday in a suicide bombing by an Islamist militant in the city of Kidal in northeastern Mali, regional military sources told AFP.
“Two Chadian soldiers were killed in an attack Friday in Kidal. It was jihadists who did it. The death toll is provisional,” said a Malian military source.
A Chadian military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said three Chadian soldiers had been killed and four wounded as they bought groceries in shops they usually used.
“The centre of Kidal is now sealed off,” said another regional security source.
“This is an Islamist attack against the Chadian troops. There are three dead, the bomber and two Chadian soldiers,” the source told AFP, also cautioning that the toll was provisionary.
Located 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) northeast of Bamako, Kidal houses bases for the French and Chadian armies who provide security while the city is effectively run by Tuareg rebels from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).
Kidal is the chief town of a region of the same name that includes the Ifoghas mountains, where French and Chadian soldiers have spend several weeks hunting and engaging entrenched Islamist fighters.
The city has already seen two suicide bombings, on February 21 and 26, the first targeting French military and killing the driver of the car bomb and the second killing seven MNLA members manning a checkpoint.