Landmine kills African peacekeepers

2014-09-02 19:52

Abidjan - Four United Nations soldiers were killed on Tuesday and another 15 were wounded when the convoy they were traveling in struck a landmine in northern Mali, a spokesperson for the country's UN peacekeeping mission said.

The contingent had left a UN base in the town of Aguelhok and were travelling south when the incident occurred at around noon local time (12:00 GMT), some 30km north of Kidal, the spokesperson said.

He had earlier said the convoy was travelling north from Kidal when it struck the mine.

"The toll is four dead and 15 wounded, including six very seriously," Olivier Salgado told Reuters. "This is only a provisional toll because we do not know what will happen with six of the very seriously wounded."

Salgado said the mission, known by its acronym Minusma, was investigating the incident but could not immediately say who was responsible for the attack.

The soldiers were part of a contingent from Chad, said a UN official who asked not to be named.

UN peacekeepers continue to be targeted in sporadic attacks despite a successful French-led intervention last year that drove back Islamists who had taken advantage of a separatist uprising to seize Mali's desert north.