Two UN Peacekeepers Have Been Killed By A Bomb In Central Mali
A spokesperson for the MINUSMA mission has confirmed that Two UN peacekeepers have been killed and two others injured after an improvised bomb exploded in central Mali on Friday.
A security official has said today that the soldiers killed were part of the Egyptian contingent of the UN peacekeeping mission.
Spokesperson Olivier Salgado said that the bomb exploded near the town of Douentza, on the road to Timbuktu.
Earlier in the week, a blue helmet from Jordan was killed when an attack struck his convoy in Kidal, northern Mali.
MINUSMA chief El-Ghassim Wane, tweeted, "A hard, hard week for us. We cannot say enough about the difficulty of our task and the extreme dedication of our peacekeepers."
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) is one of the UN's largest peacekeeping operations, and also one of its most dangerous - 174 of its troops have been killed due to hostile actions.
Condemning the latest attack, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in New York, "This is the sixth incident in which a UN peacekeeping convoy was hit since May 22."
He added that despite the difficulties, the UN peacekeepers are continuing their work in accordance with their Security Council mandate.
Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have become the weapon of choice for jihadists to use against Malian forces and MINUSMA.
Olivier Salgado said that Friday's attack happened when Egyptian peacekeepers were driving in an escort of a dozen other UN vehicles when a mine exploded as the convoy passed.
Central Mali is a hotbed of jihadist activity and violence that has spread from the north to the centre of the country, and on to neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.
Thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.
Two reports published this week - one from the human rights division of MINUSMA and one from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, expressed their alarm at how the intensity of violence in central Mali has grown.
The SITE Intelligence monitoring group said on Friday that a Mali-based coalition of Al-Qaeda aligned militants claimed responsibility for an attack last month in Togo.
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