Three civilians died and two others were injured when a car bomb exploded last night in a residential area in the city of Gao, in central Mali, the Malian government has confirmed.
The attack was almost immediately vindicated by the Group for the Defense of Islam and the Muslims (Nusrat al Islam muslimin), which welcomes Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI) and other active jihadist movements in the Sahel.
The deflagration of the vehicle took place in a courtyard of the so-called "Barrio octavo", near the road known as Wabaria, and it is believed that its objective was the western population resident in that area.
In fact, the statement of the jihadists said that there reside Canadians, British and Germans, involved in one way or another in security tasks in Mali.
In the place there is a well-known bar called Petit Dogon, that possibly was the target sought to be a nocturnal meeting point.
Some local sources put the death toll at four.
The Nusrat group has become the main threat to peace in Mali. Last Sunday night they published another statement in which they warned that the French hostage Sophie Pétronin, in her power for almost two years, is in serious danger of health because of her age, 75 years, and her illnesses.
In that note, the group pointed to the French government and said that their "intransigence" is what is endangering the life of the hostage.