Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Mali: 15 militants killed in Timbuktu attack

Mali: 15 militants killed in Timbuktu attack

"At least six blue helmets were wounded during an unprecedented attack in Timbuktu", the source said.

In a press statement, the council expressed deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of the victim, as well as to the government of Burkina Faso and to the United Nations mission, known by its French acronym as Minusma.

Militants disguised as UN peacekeepers exploded two suicide vehicle bombs and fired dozens of rockets at the French and United Nations bases in Mali's northern city of Timbuktu on Saturday, killing one and wounding dozens, Malian authorities said.

France said seven of its soldiers were hurt, lowering an initial toll from Malian authorities who had said a dozen French troops were wounded.

The militants attacked the base in the city of Timbuktu with the help of mortars and bomb cars. "The situation is now under control". One of the vehicles exploded, while the other was intercepted by troops.

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"MINUSMA confirms that at its base in the city of Timbuktu was attacked with the use of a vehicle bomb and mortars".

The UN's Timbuktu Super Camp, where Saturday's attack took place, was already the scene of an assault last May which killed a Liberian peacekeeper and wounded nine. The United Nations has 13,000 troops and police in Mali, many of whom are deployed in the country's lawless north.

"We've never seen an attack like this", a separate official from the Timbuktu governorate said. "Shell fire, rockets, and explosions and perhaps even suicide bombers".

MINUSMA supports political processes in Mali, in addition to carrying out a number of security-related tasks, and this was the largest attack against the Mission since its deployment five years ago, and the third this month. Islamist extremists linked to Al-Qaeda took control of the desert north of Mali in early 2012, but were largely driven out in a French-led military operation launched in January 2013.

Insurgents remain active, linked to drug, arms and migrant trafficking in the vast Sahel region.

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