5 killed in UN base attack in Mali; 3 killed near Timbuktu

AP News
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Posted: Feb 12, 2016 2:04 PM

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Militants attacked a U.N. base in northern Mali on Friday, killing at least 5 peacekeepers and wounding 30 others, a U.N. official said.

Armed men also attacked a Malian army convoy carrying civilians near Timbuktu, killing three people, according to a Malian army official.

Shelling hit the U.N. mission camp in Kidal early Friday, said Olivier Salgado, spokesman for the U.N. mission in Mali. The U.N. mission is investigating the attack.

Ibrahim Ag Mohamed, a resident, said after the explosions U.N. helicopters were seen in the sky and he could hear the exchange of fire outside the city.

Guinea's defense ministry said the attack targeted a Guinea position in Kidal but said its soldiers remained committed to the peacekeeping mission there.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack, saying it "will not weaken the determination of the United Nations to support the Malian government, the parties to the peace agreement, and the people of Mali, in their efforts to achieve lasting peace and stability."

Also Friday, armed men in two vehicles attacked a Malian army convoy escorting civilians 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Timbuktu, killing three people and injuring three others, said army spokesman Col. Souleymane Dembele. He said the vehicles were either stolen from army forces or painted in Mali army colors.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the extremist group al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb has been launching attacks against U.N. and army forces in Mali's north.

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AP writers Boubacar Diallo in Conakry, Guinea and Cara Anna at the United Nations contributed to this report.