Landmine kills 13 civilians in Mali, say local officials
Thirteen civilians travelling from Burkina Faso were killed on Thursday when their vehicle ran over a landmine in central Mali, local officials and a security source said, giving a provisional toll.
"Thirteen Malian and Burkinabe civilians were killed near the town of Boni when their vehicle struck a mine," local official Mahmoud Traore told AFP, as a Malian security source blamed "terrorists" for the blast.
"Terrorists uses these mines to spread fear," the source said, adding that the victims of Thursday's blast were killed instantly.
Those wounded are in a "critical" condition, according to the source.
Another unnamed local official said that the vehicle was carrying seven traders from Burkina Faso as well as Malians travelling to a weekly market.
Witnesses said police, military and emergency services were all on scene.
In November, five civilians including a teenage girl were killed when the bus they were travelling on struck a mine. No group claimed responsibility for that incident.
Islamic extremists linked to Al-Qaeda took control of the desert north of Mali in early 2012, but were largely driven out in the French-led military operation launched in January 2013.
Large tracts of the country remain lawless, however.