A passenger bus struck an improvised explosive device (IED) in Gao region on Monday, September 7, causing it to detonate and reportedly injured at least five people. According to social media outlets, a Sonef company bus traveling en route to Bamako from Gao hit the explosive at approximately 06:30 (local time) near Wabaria and Kadji villages. No group has claimed responsibility as of Monday morning.
Similar incidents are possible in central Mali.
Due to the presence of various armed groups, Mali's northern and central regions remain unstable despite a French-led intervention launched in 2013 that drove many extremists from their strongholds. France maintains approximately 4500 troops stationed throughout the Sahel.
The security environment in Mali remains complex, particularly in the north and central regions. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
Due to the underlying terrorist and kidnapping threats prevalent in the country, all those present in Mali are advised to remain discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times (especially in local markets, used by terrorists as recruitment grounds), and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
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