Three Ivorian UN peacekeepers killed in Mali attack
Three UN peacekeepers from Ivory Coast were killed in central Mali on Wednesday, the UN and Ivorian government said, in the most recent violence to hit the war-torn Sahel state.
Peacekeepers travelling the street linking the central town of Douentza to metropolis of Timbuktu further north strike a good roadside bomb, according to a good assertion from the MINUSMA peacekeeping objective.
Gunmen after that opened fire about the convoy, the assertion added, confirming 3 dead.
“The robust response of the peacekeepers drove the cowardly assailants to flee,” the MINUSMA statement said.
Ivory Coast’s military chief of personnel Lassina Doumbia, confirmed the strike in a statement but revised down the amount of wounded from the 6 reported earlier to several.
“Aerial reinforcements comprising assault helicopters and medical aircraft were immediately deployed” to sweep the region and also to evacuate the wounded, he said.
A assertion from a UN spokesman in New York previously Wednesday said that one peacekeeper was killed and seven wounded.
The attack is the most recent in a brutal conflict that is raging in Mali since 2012, when jihadists overtook a rebellion by usually ethnic Tuareg separatists in the north.
The conflict, which includes killed a large number of soldiers and civilians to time, has since spread to central Mali together with neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger, inflaming ethnic tensions on the way.
Laying roadside bombs - or perhaps improvised explosive devices (IEDs) - is a popular tactic among militants in the arid Sahel area.
France - which includes 5,100 troops deployed over the Sahel - has lost five soldiers to IED attacks since late December.
First established in 2013, the 13,000-good MINUSMA may be the deadliest peacekeeping mission on earth. More than 230 of its staff have died because the mission began.
MINUSMA head Mahamat Saleh Annadif condemned Wednesday’s attack, adding in the statement.
“At the same time when all attempts are being mobilised to get Mali out of its rut, I deeply deplore the resurgence of the attacks against national and international forces, in addition to the civilian people,” he added.
The attack on UN peacekeepers occurred a moment after a UN Security Council Meeting devoted to peace efforts in Mali.
In his most current report, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern about the deteriorating security environment, pointing to the situation in central Mali as especially worrying.
Mali’s interim government is also under great pressure to quell the seemingly endless conflict.
Anger about insufficient improvement against the jihadists and perceived corruption contributed to protests against president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, which culminated found in his army ouster last August.