French army deminers secure a hangar at the Gao airport, following a bomb explosion on February 9, 2013.
A bomb explosion has rocked Mali’s northern town of Gao as the French-led war in the West African country enters its fifth week.
The blast reportedly took place on Saturday near the French military base at the city's airport, after an attacker detonated the explosives he was carrying.
This comes after a similar attack happened in the same region on Friday where at least one soldier was injured.
“The man approached the soldiers at the checkpoint on a motorbike. As soon as he got close, he set off the bomb,” said a spokesman for the Mali army, Captain Oumar Maiga following the attack.
Reports say that Malian fighters have claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Following the attacks, Malian fighters issued a statement, saying that “We are dedicating ourselves to carrying out more attacks against France and its allies. We ask the local population to stay far away from military zones and avoid explosions."
France launched its war on Mali on January 11 under the pretext of halting the advance of fighters in the country. The war has left thousands of Malians homeless.
On February 1, Amnesty International condemned “serious human rights breaches” including the killing of children in the French war in Mali.
The rights organization said there was “evidence that at least five civilians, including three children, were killed in an airstrike” carried out by French forces against the local fighters.
Some political analysts believe that Mali’s abondoned natural resources, including gold and uranium reserves, could be one of the reasons behind the French war.