By Sun Boyu and Zhu Hengchi
GAO, MALI, July 24 (ChinaMil) -- According to the news released by the Sector East of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the camp of the French peacekeepers in the central Mali town of Gao was under attack on Monday afternoon, local time. Two terrorists in a pickup truck conducted a suicide car bombing, injuring and killing several Malian, French troops and civilians.
At 3:47 p.m., right after the raid, Liu Yong, commanding officer of the 7th Chinese peacekeeping contingent to Mali, immediately issued a warning order and rushed to the north camp gate.
Chinese guard detachment’s duty officers and soldiers at the north gate and the west gate immediately shut the doors and prepared for possible serial attacks. Members of China’s engineer detachment nearby constructing the Gao Airport also entered bunkers and armored vehicles for protection.
As the camp was close to the airport, the French troops and Malian ground forces blocked the roads between and around the two spots. More than 10 fighter jets including the "Tiger" helicopters and the "Mirage" fighter jets carried out the reconnaissance task at low altitude.
"All sentries maintain vigilance. Keep eyes on the direction of the fighter jets, and report immediately if anything suspicious!" Chinese sentinels used high-powered telescopes to strengthen observation and the snipers occupied the commanding heights to prepare for shooting.
At 4:10 p.m., under the instruction of the MINUSMA Eastern Command, the Chinese contingent dispatched personnel to occupy the emergency posts and the second-line positions.
The rapid response support forces arrived at the second-line position of the north gate and the high-altitude machine gunner were also ready for shooting at any time.
On the same night, the Chinese contingent upgraded the level of safety alert and strengthened the on–duty force to prevent possible subsequent attacks and ensure the security of the MINUSMA Sector East and the Gao Super Camp.
As of now, the attack killed one member of the Malian government forces and injured 12 other people including 12 French military men, three of whom were seriously injured.