GAO: Russia revealed yesterday it was supplying guns to Mali’s government, as French troops defused a massive bomb in the north of the country, the latest bid by Islamist rebels to strike back.
The head of Russia’s arms export agency said it had delivered small amounts of light weapons for the West African nation’s poorly equipped and deeply divided army.
Rosoboronexport chief Anatoly Isaikin said they are in talks about sending more, in small quantities.
In the centre of the northern city of Gao, the scene of twin suicide bombings and a street battle in recent days, French troops defused a homemade bomb they said contained 600 kilogrammes (1,300 pounds).
The bomb, four metal barrels filled with explosives and connecting wires, was in the courtyard of an abandoned house and had been there since at least Monday, according to an AFP correspondent at the scene.
The United Nations said Wednesday it was working on a ‘regional strategy’ for the Sahel, the semi-arid region south of the Sahara desert.