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Mali: German peacekeepers patrol 'road of death' for clues of explosive devices


Between homemade bombs and frequent robberies, driving on the roads of northern Mali has become a dangerous exercise.

German peacekeepers from Minusma, the United Nations Mission in the country, undertook a patrol on one of the most dangerous sections of the road that links the north to the centre of the country, searching for signs of explosive devices.

Located in the southwest of Gao, in the middle of the savannah, this small area is well equipped with a detachment of the Malian army.

But the presence of the peacekeepers did not prevent multiple violence on the road that leads to Mopti, in central Mali.

“Today, we want to collect data for our road atlas, because we need to know where the vulnerable areas of the road are”, said German Lieutenant, Mickael Weckbach.

With increased armed violence from the north to the center of the country, Mali is hit every week by one to three improvised explosive devices, according to Minusma.

On July 31, four Malian soldiers on an electoral equipment escort mission in the center of the country were ambushed by some assailants who fired at them.

After fourteen hours on the road, the German peacekeepers said they found nothing abnormal, but said they gathered a lot of data that will be analyzed.


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