At least 33 people have been killed in Mali after a vehicle packed with explosives detonated in a military base in the northern city of Goa on Wednesday (18 January 2017). The Malian military confirmed the provisional death toll adding that more had been wounded in the blast.
The base is home to hundreds of fighters, including members of armed groups that signed Mali's 2015 peace agreement. The camp also houses Malian soldiers, the Associated Press reported.
"I am with the injured now," said Dr Sadou Maiga at Gao's hospital told the News Agency. "We have stopped all hospital activities to handle the many injured who are arriving. Some have died from their wounds and others are in a very grave state. At this point, it's not the toll of dead and injured that interests me, it's saving who I can."
One army spokesman said the suicide bomber was able to trick his way into the camp. The attack appears to have been planned to cause maximum casualties. Witnesses said the blast occurred at 9am on Wednesday morning as hundreds of soldiers arrived for a routine gathering.
While no individual group has taken responsibility for the attack on the UN compound, Timbuktu was the centre of an ethnic Taureg rebellion that was then hijacked by the al-Qaeda-linked group Ansar al-Dine uprising in 2012.
A subsequent French military intervention in 2013 and UN peacekeeping mission returned the north to the Malian government but dispersed the terrorist threat throughout the country and exported it to its neighbours.
In November 2015, the North African terror group al-Mourabitoun stormed the Bamako Radisson Blu hotel in the Malian capital on 20 November, leaving 19 dead in a hostage-taking situation.