UN peacekeeper killed, 3 wounded in northern Mali

KIGALI, Rwanda

A United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) peacekeeper was killed and three wounded Wednesday while repelling a terror attack in the Kidal region, according to the mission.

The incident occurred early when the peacekeepers’ convoy faced direct fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades for about one hour, said spokesman Olivier Salgado.

One peacekeeper died from injuries. “Three other peacekeepers were also wounded in the attack,” the mission said in a statement.

MINUSMA head El-Gassim Wane congratulated the peacekeepers, who he said showed courage and determination by repelling the armed attackers.

“I strongly condemn this attack, which contributes to the desperate efforts of terrorist groups to hinder the quest for peace in Mali and the implementation of MINUSMA’s Mandate,” said Salgado.

He added that French forces intervened after the attack by carrying out reassurance flights.

Since 2012, Mali has been battling violence orchestrated by militants in northern and central Mali, targeting soldiers and civilians.

MINUSMA troops deployed to contain growing violence in the north and central Mali face regular attacks.

The latest attack is the fifth in the Kidal region in one week.

Last week, a MINUSMA convoy hit an explosive device in the Aguelhok area, leaving nine peacekeepers wounded.

Wane said despite the hardships and difficulties of the operational environment in which the mission operates, “our determination to accompany the people and Government of Mali in the quest for peace and security remains intact. Nothing will come to undermine it.”​​​​​​​

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