Five people were killed following shelling Thursday in the city of Timbuktu, amid renewed tensions in northern Mali, according to a new assessment released Friday by Governor Bakoun Kanté. The five victims were buried Friday, the governor was quoted as saying in local media without elaborating. A medical source speaking on condition of anonymity for his safety reported twenty wounded, in addition to the five deaths.
Timbuktu was hit on Thursday by shells attributed to jihadists by a local elected official. The city has been under a blockade since August imposed by the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM), a jihadist alliance affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Northern Mali is experiencing a resumption of hostilities by separatist groups and an intensification of jihadist activities. The regions of Timbuktu, but also Gao, have been the scene of a succession of attacks in recent weeks against Malian army positions and civilians.