World

Rockets fired at northern Malian town of Gao ahead of legislative poll

A statue of a hippopotamus is covered with election posters at a traffic circle in Bamako, Mali, Tuesday Nov. 19, 2013. Mali is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in an effort to finalize a return to democracy after a 2012 military coup. Last week residents reported an increase in armed Tuareg rebels in the northern Mali town of Kidal, underscoring the security risks that remain even after a French-led military intervention ousted al-Qaida-linked militants from the major towns in the region. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

A statue of a hippopotamus is covered with election posters at a traffic circle in Bamako, Mali, Tuesday Nov. 19, 2013. Mali is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in an effort to finalize a return to democracy after a 2012 military coup. Last week residents reported an increase in armed Tuareg rebels in the northern Mali town of Kidal, underscoring the security risks that remain even after a French-led military intervention ousted al-Qaida-linked militants from the major towns in the region. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

Residents and military officials say several rockets have landed on the northern Malian town of Gao, a sign of continuing insecurity just days before the country's legislative elections.

The city's military spokesman, Capt. Daouda Sidiki Diarra, said the type of rockets used Thursday is the signature of an al-Qaida-inspired group that used to control the city.

The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa is one of three al-Qaida-linked groups that invaded northern Mali last year. They took over the city of Gao, imposing brutal Shariah rule.

Mali is set to hold legislative elections on Sunday, the last step in restoring constitutional rule following a 2012 coup, which plunged the nation into disarray.

The rockets were aimed at a military post, but missed, and no casualties were reported.