In Summary
  • Six Guinean peacekeepers were killed in an early morning assault on a camp in the northeastern town of Kidal belonging to the United Nations’ Minusma.

  • The latest attacks highlighted the vulnerability of Mali’s sprawling, arid north, where UN troops and Malian soldiers are struggling in their fight against jihadists.

  • Suicide bombers drove a vehicle into the base between two rocket launches, then blew it up, the Guinean source said.

  • In a separate attack, three Malian soldiers were killed and two others were wounded near the fabled city of Timbuktu, a military source said.

BAMAKO, Saturday

Six UN peacekeepers were killed and 30 wounded when suspected Islamists attacked their base in northern Mali, officials said.

The six Guinean peacekeepers were killed in an early morning assault on a camp in the northeastern town of Kidal belonging to the United Nations’ Minusma, according to a Guinean source in the mission and a military source in Conakry.

Malian Islamist group Ansar Dine, responsible for several previous assaults, claimed the attack by a Mauritanian jihadist as “a message to the crusader aggressors and all those who support them” in a statement carried by a Mauritanian news agency.

The latest attacks highlighted the vulnerability of Mali’s sprawling, arid north, where UN troops and Malian soldiers are struggling in their fight against jihadists who seized vast swathes of territory in 2012.

WAR CRIMES

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the “massive and complex” attack on the Minusma base, warning that targeting peacekeepers constituted a war crime and pledging to support the Malian government.

Suicide bombers drove a vehicle into the base between two rocket launches, then blew it up, the Guinean source said.

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