Mali: rocket attack on Kidal UN base kills 3, injures 20

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By Sarah Taylor  with Reuters
Mali: rocket attack on Kidal UN base kills 3, injures 20

The United Nations says at least two of its personnel and one civilian have died in a gun and rocket attack on a camp for UN peacekeepers in northern Mali.

No person or group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Unidentified gunmen stormed the Kidal base at around 4am local time. Shortly after the attack, Olivier Salgado, a spokesman for MINUSMA (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali), the UN force working to stabilise Mali, said:

“We have three dead and four seriously injured.”

Salgado did not give the nationalities of those who died, although another UN source told Reuters two of the victims were peacekeepers from Guinea.

A total of 20 people are believed to have sustained injuries.

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.

Radisson attack

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.

Boko Haram

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.