The mayor of the northern Malian city of Gao says the convoy of a visiting cabinet minister struck a roadside bomb, killing two soldiers and wounding four others in the blast.

Minister of Rural Development Bokary Treta was unharmed, but an armored car from the military detachment escorting him struck the bomb as it traveled toward the town of Bourem Tuesday.

The convoy turned back to Gao, added Sadou Diallo, the mayor.

Two other soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in the same region on Nov. 2.

A French-led force removed an al-Qaida branch and other jihadists from power across northern Mali in 2013, though remnants have staged a growing number of attacks in recent months.