At least three people have died in a gun and rocket attack on a camp for UN peacekeepers in northern Mali. UN and local sources confirmed the figure.
Point of view
"Four or five rockets landed inside the base. Quite a few people were wounded, but it's too early for a precise number."
Unidentified gunmen stormed the Kidal base at around 4am local time.
Shortly after the attack, MINUSMA (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali), the UN force working to stabilise Mali, said the attack had caused an unspecified number of casualties.
“The attack happened at around 4am. Four or five rockets landed inside the base. Quite a few people were wounded, but it’s too early for a precise number,” spokesman Olivier Salgado told Reuters.
French troops and the MINUSMA force are on the ground and have been working for years to secure the former French colony.
In northern Mali, a French-led military operation drove out Islamist fighters with links to al Qaeda after they occupied part of the region in 2012. However, violence has continued.
Saturday’s incident (November 28) follows a militant attack and hostage situation in the Radisson Blu hotel in the capital on November 20, in which 20 people were killed.
Three Islamist groups claimed responsibility for the attack on the Radisson: Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI); splinter group al Mourabitoun; and Massina Liberation Front (MLF). Analysts postulate the groups may be collaborating.
Elsewhere in West Africa, governments are also battling Islamist militants. The leading group in the region is Boko Haram. In 2015, it has broadened the scope of its attacks from Nigeria into the neighbouring nations of Niger, Cameroon and Chad.