UN: Gunmen attack 2 peacekeeping sites in Mali, 7 killed

World Today

Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino.

The United Nations said unidentified gunmen have attacked two U.N. peacekeeping sites in Mali.

U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said the U.N. camp in Douentza in the Mopti region of central Mali came under attack Monday morning.

Armed men also launched an attack Monday afternoon against the U.N. peacekeeping mission’s headquarters in Timbuktu city in northern Mali.

Haq said the mission dispatched a quick reaction force and helicopters to the scene “and sporadic gunfire is still ongoing.”

So far seven people were killed and seven wounded, the U.N. said. Among the dead include a Malian soldier and a U.N. peacekeeper.

Two gunmen were also killed when U.N. peacekeepers fired back, Haq said.

“A first group of assailants fired at a MINUSMA camp from an adjacent hill. In reaction, the Malian armed forces, established in the vicinity of the camp, retaliated. A second group walking on foot to the other MINUSMA camp opened fire. The peacekeepers have responded and two assailants have been killed,” the U.N. Mission in Mali said in a statement in French.

Haq said the United Nations joins the peacekeeping mission’s condemnation of the attack.

“We mourn the loss of a United Nations peacekeeper killed in Mali earlier this morning while serving with our UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) following at attack by armed assailants to a MINUSMA camp in the town of Douenza,” MINUSMA said in a note on social media.

The peacekeeping mission in Mali is the deadliest of the U.N.’s 16 global peacekeeping operations.

Story by the Associated Press