Peacekeeper killed in blast in Mali’s troubled north: UN
Published: 04:01 PM, 3 October 2021
A peacekeeper died Saturday and four others were seriously injured in Mali's volatile north near the Algerian border when an improvised explosive device went off, the UN said.
“One dead and three seriously injured after one of our teams hit an improvised explosive device near Tessalit”, close to the Algerian border, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, Minusma, said.
“This incident is a sad reminder of the permanent danger hanging over our peacekeepers and of the sacrifices made for peace in Mali", the head of Minusma El-Ghassim Wane was quoted as saying in a statement.
“Today’s cowardly attack only strengthens Minusma’s determination to support Mali and its people in their quest for peace and stability,” he said.
In April, four Chadian peacekeepers from Minusma were killed in a terrorist attack on their camp in Aguelhok, also in northeastern Mali.
Minusma, deployed in Mali since 2013, is currently the deadliest United Nations peace mission in the world, with 145 killed in hostile acts recorded as of August 31, according to UN statistics. The current force includes more than 12,000 soldiers.
The latest death among the peacekeepers comes amid continuing uncertainty over the future of foreign military forces in the country.
Mali’s new military-dominated government took delivery Saturday of four Russian military helicopters as it considers hiring Russian mercenaries to work for them. – AFP