April 5, 2015 / 8:00 AM / in 3 years

North Mali town of Gao hit by mortar bombs, one killed

BAMAKO (Reuters) - Unknown assailants shelled the north Mali town of Gao on Sunday, killing one person and wounding three others, according to military sources and residents.

Mali’s desert north suffers frequent assaults by Islamist militants despite a military operation led by France to drive fighters out of the region. Separatists are also involved in conflict.

The firing began around 6 a.m. (0200 EDT). “There were three or four explosions,” a military source said.

In 2012, Tuareg separatists tried to take control of the north but their rebellion was soon hijacked by better-armed and funded militants linked to al Qaeda.

Last month, the rebels turned down a U.N. peace plan hammered out with the Malian government in several months of talks, saying it did not address the roots of the conflict.

Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo and Adama Diarra; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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