April 12, 2015 / 2:58 PM / in 2 years

Two Mali soldiers killed, others injured in landmine explosion

BAMAKO (Reuters) - Two Malian soldiers were killed and others were wounded on Sunday when their vehicle struck a landmine in the center of the West African nation, a defense ministry official said.

The incident occurred in the morning near the town of Diabaly, around 500 km (310 miles) northeast of the capital Bamako, said ministry spokesman Diaran Kone, who gave no further details.

Diabaly was the scene of intense clashes in 2013 when Malian and French forces fought to drive back al Qaeda-linked Islamist groups that had seized the northern two-thirds of the country a year earlier.

The French-led intervention succeeded in pushing the Islamists out of cities and towns they had held, and a U.N. peacekeeping force has since been deployed. But remnants of the militant groups have regrouped and continue to launch regular attacks, mainly in the restive north.

Reporting by Adama Diarra; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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