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Johannesburg – Another five civilians have lost their lives, and another 18 were injured, after their passenger vehicle struck a landmine – similar to an incident two weeks ago when 26 travellers died in a similar incident in central Mali.

Reuters reported on Sunday that Friday afternoon’s incident occurred on the road between the towns of Dera and Konna in the Mopti region, where Islamist militants have recently stepped up attacks on civilian and military targets, said Governor Sidi Alassane Toure, who blamed the attack on “terrorists”.

“We must no longer accept living under the same roof as terrorists, we must no longer accept sharing a meal with a terrorist, or living in the same village with a terrorist,” Toure said on state radio.

Depite pledging allegiance to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State the jihadists are recruited by ongoing grievances against the central government and ethnic rivalries.

A UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, thousands of French troops across the Sahel region and a new regional security taskforce have all been unable to stem the attacks, raising concerns for the security of Mali’s presidential election this year.

African News Agency/ANA