UN soldier killed, four injured in Mali blast

2016-08-07 21:59
A soldier of the United Nations mission to Mali standing guard near a UN vehicle after it drove over an explosive device. (Souleymane Ag Anara, AFP)

A soldier of the United Nations mission to Mali standing guard near a UN vehicle after it drove over an explosive device. (Souleymane Ag Anara, AFP)

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Bamako - A United Nations peacekeeper was killed and four others were injured on Sunday when their vehicle struck an explosive device in northeast Mali, the UN said.

The incident occurred 11km south of Aguelhoc-Anefis in the Kidal region, the UN force in Mali, Minusma, said in a statement.

The vehicle was part of a supply convoy, Minusma said. It did not give the nationalities of the casualties.

Less than three hours later, a Minusma vehicle was damaged by a roadside bomb near the town of Kidal while on patrol about 2km from the mission's base, but no-one was hurt, the statement said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either attack.

An Islamist takeover of northern Mali in 2012 triggered a French military intervention to pull the country back from the brink of collapse.

The UN deployed peacekeepers in July 2013, but the mission has been a relentless target for attacks.

Twenty-eight have been killed so far this year, according to a toll compiled by AFP.

On June 29, the UN Security Council decided to send an additional 2 500 personnel to bring Minusma up to a maximum level of 15 200 troops and police and provide for modern equipment and fast-response units.

Mali declared a state of emergency last November after jihadists stormed a hotel in the capital Bamako, killing 20 people, mostly foreigners, in an attack claimed by al-Qaeda's regional branch.

The state of emergency has been extended several times. It will last until March 29, 2017 under a legislative decision on July 31.

Read more on:    mali  |  west africa

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