Swedish peacekeepers kill attempted Mali suicide attacker

iStock
iStock

Bamako - Swedish peacekeepers serving with the UN's Mali mission killed a man attempting to mount a suicide attack in the central city of Timbuktu, a UN source and local official told AFP on Tuesday.

The UN's Minusma mission was deployed to Mali in July 2013, with more than 11 000 international police and military personnel attempting to secure lawless swathes of the vast Sahel nation.

"A suicide attacker attempting to commit a terrorist act was neutralised," a source within the mission told AFP, requesting anonymity as the UN has yet to formally comment on the incident.

A local government official in Timbuktu said the suspected jihadist was carrying explosives when he was spotted. "He was killed, according to information we received [on] Tuesday, by the Swedish battalion of Minusma in Timbuktu," they said.

There are 209 Swedish military personnel and nine police serving with the Mali mission, according to the most recent UN figures from August.

On Tuesday Margot Wallstrom, Sweden's Foreign Minister, tweeted: "Relieved to hear everyone in our peace-keeping force in #Mali is safe, following a suicide attack. Our troops do a great job [with] UN for peace."

Northern Mali fell into the hands of jihadists linked to al-Qaeda in early 2012 - briefly backed by Tuareg-led rebels - throwing the country into chaos.

An ongoing international military intervention that began in January 2013 has driven Islamist fighters away from the major urban centres they had briefly controlled, but large tracts of Mali are still not controlled by domestic or foreign troops.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Is social media doing more harm than good?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, our children are exposed and we can't protect them
49% - 6225 votes
Yes, but social media is part of the new reality
45% - 5696 votes
No, it's great for growing a child's world view
5% - 664 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.13
+0.0%
Rand - Pound
19.86
+0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.07
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.92
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.2%
Gold
1,826.85
+0.6%
Silver
27.09
+0.4%
Palladium
2,863.32
+0.1%
Platinum
1,210.07
-0.3%
Brent Crude
69.32
+1.1%
Top 40
60,211
-2.1%
All Share
66,169
-1.9%
Resource 10
69,474
-3.1%
Industrial 25
82,513
-1.5%
Financial 15
12,499
-1.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo