Scores of dead, dozens wounded in Mali bus blast amid escalating jihadi violence
An explosion killed at least eleven people and injured 53 on a bus in central Mali on Thursday (13 October), a region regularly rocked by jihadist violence, according to police and local sources.
The blast occurred when the bus hit an explosive device and all the victims of the explosion were civilians, as per reports. The bus was struck by a blast on the road between Bandiagara and Goundaka, in the Mopti area in the early afternoon, a security source said. “We have just transferred nine bodies to the clinic. And it’s not over yet,” Moussa Housseyni of the local Bandiagara Youth Association had said earlier.
For more than a decade, Mali has struggled to contain activity by armed groups that are all involved in the jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and forced thousands more from their homes. Mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are among the jihadists’ weapons of choice. They can explode on impact or be detonated remotely. A report by the UN mission in Mali MINUSMA found that as of August 31, mines and IEDs had caused 72 deaths. Most of the victims are soldiers — but a quarter are civilians, it said. In 2021 alone, 103 people were killed and 297 injured by IEDs and mines.