Africa

Mali attack: Rocket kills three at UN base at Kidal

UN peacekeepers in eastern Mali (file image) Image copyright AP
Image caption Some 10,000 soldiers from dozens of different nations are currently serving in Mali under the UN banner

Three people have been killed in a rocket attack on a UN peacekeepers' base in northern Mali, the UN says.

Two UN peacekeepers from Guinea and a civilian contractor were killed in the attack in Kidal, officials said.

Eight days ago, gunmen attacked a hotel in the capital, Bamako, taking scores hostage. Twenty-two people were killed.

The peacekeeping mission in Mali was approved in 2014 after France led a military campaign to drive out Islamist militants from the north.

The Minusma force comprises some 10,000 soldiers from dozens of different contributor countries - the majority from Mali's west African neighbours.

World's most dangerous peacekeeping mission

The UN mission - criticised by some at the time of its approval because there is no peace deal to support - has suffered more casualties than any other in recent years, with 56 troops killed.

Islamist militants are suspected of being behind Saturday's attack, in which 14 people were injured, several seriously, reports suggest.

"Our camp in Kidal was attacked early this morning by terrorists using rockets," said an official from the Minusma force.


Militancy in Mali

  • October 2011: Ethnic Tuaregs launch rebellion after returning with arms from Libya
  • March 2012: Army coup over government's handling of rebellion, a month later Tuareg and al-Qaeda-linked fighters seize control of north
  • June 2012: Islamist groups capture Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao from Tuaregs, start to destroy Muslim shrines and manuscripts and impose Sharia
  • January 2013: Islamist fighters capture a central town, raising fears they could reach Bamako. Mali requests French help
  • July 2013: UN force, now totalling about 12,000, takes over responsibility for securing the north after Islamists routed from towns
  • July 2014: France launches an operation in the Sahel to stem jihadist groups
  • Attacks continue in northern desert area, blamed on Tuareg and Islamist groups
  • 2015: Terror attacks in the capital, Bamako, and central Mali

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