Suspected militants attacked several Malian and foreign military bases with mortars and rockets in the north of the country on Monday in what appeared to be a rare attempt at a coordinated assault on foreign forces operating in the troubled west African country. The AFP news agency quotes a source within the UN mission in Kidal as saying that militants fired a dozen mortar shells “which did not cause casualties, but the damage is being assessed”. Northern Mali is one of the epicentres of violence and jihadist attacks since 2012, despite the presence of thousands of UN, foreign and French forces.