Two UN peacekeepers killed in attack in northern Mali

Armoured vehicle from UN logistics convoy hit a mine

An armoured UN vehicle hit a mine in the north of Mali, killing two. AFP
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Two UN peacekeepers were killed and five people wounded by an improvised explosive device in northern Mali on Tuesday, the UN said.

“This morning, an armoured vehicle in a Minusma supply convoy hit a mine on the Tessalit-Gao highway,” the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (Minusma) said in a statement.

The mission added that two peacekeepers had died from their wounds and five others were seriously injured in the attack. A rapid intervention force was sent to the scene and the injured were removed, it said.

Minusma strongly condemned the attack, which may constitute a war crime under international law.

The mission said it is concerned over the “frequent use by terrorist groups and elements of improvised explosive devices to undermine the mission's operations”.

“Mines and improvised explosive devices in Mali affect UN personnel, Malian defence and security forces and the communities we serve without distinction.”

Last month, two Egyptian peacekeepers were killed when their convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device in central Mali. Two other peacekeepers were injured in the attack on the armoured personnel carrier outside the town of Douentza as the convoy travelled to Timbuktu.

Since 2012, Mali has been plagued by insurgent groups linked to ISIS and Al Qaeda. Vast parts of the country are controlled by myriad rebel groups, militias and criminal gangs.

Minusma was deployed in 2013 to shore up the turbulent Sahel state, where fighting has claimed thousands of lives and uprooted hundreds of thousands.

With 13,000 members, the mission is one of the UN's biggest peacekeeping operations as well as one of its most dangerous, with about 260 personnel having been killed in the line of duty.

Egypt — together with Chad and Bangladesh — are the top three contributors to the force.

Updated: July 05, 2022, 6:20 PM