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A suicide bomber has struck in Mali.

A Malian officer says the attacker approached
troops on a motorbike close to the northern town of Gao before detonating an explosive belt. One soldier was injured.

It’s thought to be the first incident of its kind since France began a counteroffensive last month, against an insurgency by Islamist militants.

The attack comes as France seeks to handover to United Nations peacekeepers

Gao, along with Timbuktu and Kidal, has recently been recaptured from the Islamists but forces have come up again increasing resistance in recent days.

Meanwhile fighting erupted west of the capital Bamako as a unit of paratroopers began a mutiny, angry at disciplinary measures being taken against some of its members.

Several groups have been staging protests, demanding to be sent to the frontline to join the offensive.

Many have been sidelined since last year’s military coup in the south while the insurgency was underway in the north.

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