At least two United Nations peacekeepers were killed and five severely wounded in northern Mali when a logistics convoy hit an improvised explosive device on Tuesday, the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA said.
The incident took place on Tuesday (July 5) morning on the road between the village of Tessalit and the city of Gao, MINUSMA said in a statement. United Nations spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, confirmed the news during his briefing Tuesday.
“Sad news coming out of Mali where an armored vehicle from a UN logistics convoy hit a mine and the Tessalit. – Gao access,” he said. “Two peacekeepers died from their wounds and five others were seriously wounded as a result of this attack.”
Insecurity has grown in the West African country since insurgents who took root in its arid north a decade ago escalated attacks and seized territory.
The militants, some with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State, have gained momentum despite the presence of foreign troops and UN peacekeepers. The conflict has killed thousands and displaced millions across the Sahel region south of the Sahara.
MINUSMA – the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali – currently has around 12 200 military personnel deployed in the country.
At least 174 peacekeepers have been killed in hostile acts and more than 420 wounded since August 2013, according to MINUSMA.
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