FILE PHOTO: A French soldier stands by a mounted machine gun as he surveys the area during the regional anti-insurgent Operation Barkhane in Inaloglog, Mali, October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo
A French soldier stands by a mounted machine gun as he surveys the area during the regional anti-insurgent Operation Barkhane in Inaloglog, Mali. Benoit Tessier / Reuters

Militants in UN disguise explode car bombs, rockets at Mali bases



Militants disguised as UN peacekeepers exploded two suicide car bombs and fired dozens of rockets at the French and United Nations bases in Mali's northern city of Timbuktu on Saturday, killing one and wounding many, Malian authorities said.

The UN mission confirmed that the complex attack had killed a UN peacekeeper. The Malian government said in addition that 10 French soldiers had been wounded, but the French mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Terrorists wearing blue helmets aboard two cars laden with explosives, including one in the colours of the Malian army and another with a 'UN' written in it, attempted to infiltrate these camps," the Malian government statement said.

"The situation is now under control."

UN peacekeeping and French military forces stationed in northern Mali have been under near-constant attack over the past year by determined and well-armed jihadist groups seen as the gravest threat to security across Africa's Sahel region.

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But even by the standards of Mali's increasingly emboldened Islamist fighters, Saturday's attempted breach of two foreign bases at once was ambitious.

"MINUSMA confirms a significant complex attack on its camp in Timbuktu mortars, exchange of fire, vehicle suicide bomb attack," the mission tweeted. "One blue helmet was killed in the exchange of fire."

The United Nations last month said 162 people deployed in Mali have been killed since 2013, making it the world's deadliest peacekeeping operation to date.

A 2015 peace deal signed by Mali's government and separatist groups has failed to end violence in northern Mali by Islamists, who have also staged assaults on high-profile targets in the capital, Bamako, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.

French forces intervened in 2013 to drive back Islamist fighters who had hijacked a Tuareg uprising a year earlier, and some 4,000 French troops remain. The UN Security Council then deployed peacekeepers to the country, but they have been targets of a concerted guerrilla campaign.

If you go

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A fully guided three-day, two-night itinerary at Three Camel Lodge costs from $2,420 per person based on two sharing, including airport transfers, accommodation, meals and excursions including the Yol Valley and Flaming Cliffs. A return internal flight from Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad costs $300 per person and the flight takes 90 minutes each way; threecamellodge.com

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COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
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Aayan’s records

Youngest UAE men’s cricketer
When he debuted against Bangladesh aged 16 years and 314 days, he became the youngest ever to play for the men’s senior team. He broke the record set by his World Cup squad-mate, Alishan Sharafu, of 17 years and 44 days.

Youngest wicket-taker
After taking the wicket of Bangladesh’s Litton Das on debut in Dubai, Aayan became the youngest male cricketer to take a wicket against a Full Member nation in a T20 international.

Youngest in T20 World Cup history?
Aayan does not turn 17 until November 15 – which is two days after the T20 World Cup final at the MCG. If he does play in the competition, he will be its youngest ever player. Pakistan’s Mohammed Amir, who was 17 years and 55 days when he played in 2009, currently holds the record.

Fixtures and results:

Wed, Aug 29:

  • Malaysia bt Hong Kong by 3 wickets
  • Oman bt Nepal by 7 wickets
  • UAE bt Singapore by 215 runs

Thu, Aug 30: UAE v Nepal; Hong Kong v Singapore; Malaysia v Oman

Sat, Sep 1: UAE v Hong Kong; Oman v Singapore; Malaysia v Nepal

Sun, Sep 2: Hong Kong v Oman; Malaysia v UAE; Nepal v Singapore

Tue, Sep 4: Malaysia v Singapore; UAE v Oman; Nepal v Hong Kong

Thu, Sep 6: Final

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Director: Adam Wingard

Starring: Brian Tyree Henry, Rebecca Hall, Dan Stevens

Rating: 4/5

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)

'Unrivaled: Why America Will Remain the World’s Sole Superpower'
Michael Beckley, Cornell Press

MATCH INFO

Southampton 0
Manchester City 1
(Sterling 16')

Man of the match: Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)

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THE SPECS

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo

Power: 275hp at 6,600rpm

Torque: 353Nm from 1,450-4,700rpm

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch auto

Top speed: 250kph

Fuel consumption: 6.8L/100km

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Price: Dh146,999

Elvis

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Stars: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge

Rating: 4/5

Under-21 European Championship Final

Germany 1 Spain 0
Weiser (40')

SQUADS

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (capt), Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Usman Salahuddin, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Asghar, Bilal Asif, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Wahab Riaz

Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Lahiru Thirimanne (vice-capt), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Rangana Herath, Lakshan Sandakan, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Gamage

Umpires: Ian Gould (ENG) and Nigel Llong (ENG)
TV umpire: Richard Kettleborough (ENG)
ICC match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)


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