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Roadside bomb hits minister's convoy in northern Mali, killing 2 soldiers


BAMAKO, Mali — A roadside bomb exploded on Tuesday under the convoy of a Malian minister as he traveled through the north of the country, killing two soldiers and wounding four others, said the mayor of the nearby city of Gao.

Sadou Diallo said the Minister of Rural Development Bokary Treta was unharmed, but an armored car from the military detachment escorting him struck the bomb as it traveled from Gao to the town of Bourem.

The convoy turned back to Gao, added Sadou Diallo, the mayor.

Two other soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in the same region on Nov. 2.

A French-led force removed an al-Qaida branch and other jihadists from power across northern Mali in 2013, though remnants have staged a growing number of attacks in recent months.

A recent resurgence of violence has killed 21 U.N. peacekeepers since early September. French forces also are working to stabilize the country's former colony.

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