10 UN peacekeepers killed in ‘jihadist’ attack in Mali

Ten UN peacekeepers from Chad have been killed in an attack by the suspected Islamist militants in Mali, the UN says

Photo courtesy: social media
Photo courtesy: social media
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IANS

Ten UN peacekeepers from Chad have been killed in an attack by the suspected Islamist militants in Mali, the UN says.

Another 25 Chadian troops were injured when the gunmen stormed the UN camp in Aguelhok on Sunday, the BBC reported.

The UN said the attack was repelled.

The UN mission in Mali was set up in 2013 to fight Islamist militias operating in the country.

Militants have regularly attacked UN and Malian troops since then.

Al-Qaeda's North-African branch, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, said it carried out the latest attack, the media reported.

Large swathes of northern Mali were seized by jihadists in 2012 until they were pushed back in a French-led military operation the following year.

More than 15,000 personnel — including civilians — were later deployed as part of the UN mission, Minusma.

But parts of the country are still out of the government's control.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has strongly condemned the attack on a camp of the UN peacekeeping force in Mali that killed 10 soldiers from Chad.

The UN chief called on the Malian authorities, as well as the signatory armed groups to the peace agreement, to spare no effort in identifying the perpetrators of this attack so that they can be brought to justice as swiftly as possible, said Guterres' spokesman in a statement on Sunday, Xinhua reported.

Guterres said that attacks targeting UN peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law. He reaffirmed that such acts will not diminish the resolve of the UN to continue supporting the people and government of Mali in their efforts to build peace and stability in the country.

Guterres conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the government of Chad, and the families and loved ones of the deceased. He paid tribute to the dedication and courage of the men and women serving in the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.

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