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2 killed, 1 injured in blasts in Mali

March 31, 2013 at 9:29 AM

TIMBUKTU, Mali, March 31 (UPI) -- Bombs in and around the Timbuktu, Mali, area killed at least two soldiers and left another injured, officials said.

The first incident happened Saturday when a Malian army vehicle drove over a land mine east of Timbuktu, Voice of America reported. Two soldiers died in the explosion.

Later Saturday, a suicide bomber attacked an army barricade in Timbuktu, injuring one soldier there, officials said.

Islamist militants seized control of major cities in northern Mali and imposed strict Islamic law following a coup in March 2012. Since January, French and Chadian troops have been aiding Malian forces in fighting the militants and have recaptured the area, but fighting still occurs in the mountains.

France has announced it would begin removing its troops from Mali in April.

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