Suspected militants attack UN base in Mali
Suspected Islamist militants attacked a UN peacekeepers’ base in the northern Mali town of Kidal on Friday, killing several people and wounding others, an official has said.
Spokesman for the separatist Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), Radouane Aly, told Reuters that there was gunfire and mortar fire against the MINUSMA (UN peacemaking mission) camp.
“It is an attack by the Islamists, apparently involving a suicide car bomb,” Aly said.
A UN spokesman said that there were some dead and wounded persons in the attack, which began at 6.45 a.m.
He said that there had been eight mortar shells as well as gunfire.
Another UN source, who was at the base but declined to be identified, said that two people had been killed.
The base forms part of an attempt by the MINUSMA mission to keep the peace in Mali in the wake of a takeover of the north by Islamists in 2012.
The take-over attempt was thwarted by a French-led intervention squad that forced the militants out of key towns.
The UN mission has not stopped the violence, however, and Islamist militants have expanded their attacks in recent months into other parts of Mali and beyond.
These included attack on a hotel in Mali’s capital in November, 2015, in which 20 people died, and one in Burkina Faso’s capital in January in which 30 were killed.