Security guard killed in Mali bombing
04 April 2015, 08:57
Bamako - A Malian security guard was killed in a bombing at a home in the restive west African nation's capital Bamako on Friday, police told AFP.
Police said the house on the outskirts of the city was situated opposite the residence of a French national, but it was not clear if the expatriate was the intended target.
"The house was largely destroyed by an explosion. Inside the house, there were several detonators," Moussa Diallo, a police inspector at the scene said.
Other police and residents identified a body at the house as a Malian guard employed by the owner, a Burkinabe businessman.
Diallo said the investigation would determine "the intention of the perpetrators", but added that it was already obvious that the explosion was "criminal".
A security source and neighbours said the French national living opposite was not hurt and had been evacuated.
"Investigations are ongoing to determine whether the French national was the target or not," added the source.
The incident will heighten anxieties among Bamako's expatriate community a month after heavily-armed militants struck La Terrasse, a favoured nightspot among foreigners, killing three Malians, a Frenchman and a Belgian.
Responsibility for that attack was claimed by Al-Murabitoun, a jihadist group led by one-eyed Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who is wanted for terrorist activities in several countries.
His movement said it had struck in response to the publication in France of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
France has been seen as a target for Islamist movements in Mali since it led an international military operation to drive them from the main cities of the northern desert in 2013.
The jihadists had seized control of key northern towns, including the fabled Timbuktu, where they destroyed priceless artefacts and imposed a brutal interpretation of Islamic law.
Militants from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb decapitated a Malian in March that they accused of aiding France's anti-jihadist operation in the region, according to security sources.