Three killed in Mali roadside bomb blast

BAMAKO (AFP) – Three people, including a government official, were killed on Thursday in a roadside bomb attack in central Mali, the government said, as fresh violence hits the war-torn West African state.

A regional government official was travelling in a military convoy in the volatile centre of the country when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, killing him.

Two others also died in the attack, an official from Mali’s territorial administration ministry said, without specifying whether they were soldiers.

Mali is struggling to contain an extremist insurgency that erupted in 2012, and which has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives since.

Despite the presence of thousands of French and United Nations (UN) troops, the conflict has engulfed the centre of the country, and spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.