BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Armed men attacked a Red Cross truck on Monday, partially setting it on fire and killing the driver and wounding a passenger, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.
The truck was clearly marked with the Red Cross emblem and heading to neighboring Niger on Monday to pick up medical supplies when it came under attack, according to a statement from the ICRC. The driver who was killed was an employee of the ICRC, which coordinates humanitarian relief operations for the Red Cross movement in conflict zones. The passenger, who is in stable condition, works for the Malian Red Cross.
The attackers set the truck partially ablaze about 25 miles (45 kilometers) outside of the city of Gao, said Valery Mbaoh Nana, a spokesman for the ICRC.
"We are going to suspend our activities to learn more about the circumstances (of the attack), which are unacceptable for us," he said. "We have been here during the most difficult periods, and we don't understand that we would be attacked now."
Mali's northern half came under control of al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremists following a military coup in 2012. A French-led intervention in early 2013 scattered the extremists, but the country is growing increasingly unstable, and U.N. troops are struggling to maintain peace.