UN peacekeepers killed near Mali capital in 'al-Qaeda-style attack'

UN peacekeepers killed near Mali capital in 'al-Qaeda-style attack'
Two UN peacekeepers were killed and at least a dozen others injured after an attack outside Mali's capital of Timbuktu.
2 min read
28 October, 2018
The UN's peacekeeping mission has come under constant attack by al-Qaeda affiliates [Getty]

The United Nations mission in Mali says armed men attacked a UN camp outside of Timbuktu killing at least two peacekeepers and wounding at least a dozen others.

UN Mali mission spokeswoman Myriam Dessables said men in heavily armed vehicles drove up to the camp in the town of Ber, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Timbuktu on Saturday. She said all the peacekeepers affected are from Burkina Faso.

Dessables said a UN peacekeeping mission control vehicle also ran over an explosive device Saturday in Konna in Mali's central Mopti region, wounding four Togolese peacekeepers.

No group has claimed responsibility, but the attacks bear the marks of jihadi groups linked to al-Qaeda which are very active in Mali's northern and central regions.

Mali's unrest stems from a 2012 ethnic Tuareg separatist uprising which was exploited by jihadists in order to take over key cities in the north.

The extremists were largely driven out in a French-led military operation launched in January 2013.

But large stretches of the country remain out of the control of Malian, French and UN forces, which are frequent targets of attacks, despite a peace accord signed with Tuareg leaders in mid-2015 aimed at isolating the jihadists.

The violence has also spilled over into both Burkina Faso and Niger.