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Canadian Forces in Mali unharmed by bomb, extremists claim responsibility

Click to play video 'Exclusive: Inside the lives of Canadian peacekeepers in Mali' Exclusive: Inside the lives of Canadian peacekeepers in Mali
WATCH: Exclusive look at the lives of Canadian peacekeepers in Mali – Sep 14, 2018

GAO, Mali – A car-bomb explosion in northern Mali killed three civilians on Monday, and one group reportedly claimed that Canadian soldiers and other foreign forces were targeted.

READ MORE: Canadian helicopters are ‘flying emergency rooms’ in Mali peacekeeping mission

The Canadian Armed Forces said in an email Monday that it was aware of an explosion in the city of Gao, adding that all Canadian personnel were safe at Camp Castor.

The Ministry of Security and Civil Protection of Mali says on its Facebook page that a trapped vehicle burst into flames in a courtyard in Gao.

The ministry says three people were killed, two were injured and neighbouring homes were damaged.

WATCH: Global News in Mali with Canadian peacekeepers

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SITE, an American group that monitors jihadist websites, says an organization posing as al-Qaida’s branch in Mali has claimed “a suicide bomb blast on the headquarters of foreign forces, including British, Canadian and Germans, in Gao.”

READ MORE: Canada’s on a new kind of mission in Mali — mixing peacekeeping with counterterrorism

A Canadian peacekeeping contingent took over from Germans and Belgians in Mali in early July, and its main task is to evacuate the wounded peacekeepers by helicopter.