Bamako: At least five UN peacekeepers were killed in an ambush in central Mali by suspected militants on on Sunday, the UN and police sources said. The soldiers of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) were in a convoy which was attacked 30 kilometres (19 miles) west of Sevaré, the UN said. No group has taken responsibility for the attack.
It comes 10 days after five MINUSMA peacekeepers from Chad were killed in an ambush in the northern region of Kidal. Two days ago five Malian soldiers were killed near the town of Gao. "I condemn in the strongest terms this despicable crime," said MINUSMA head Mahamat Saleh Annadif, adding that it constituted "crimes against humanity under international law".
MINUSMA and French forces have been stationed in northern Mali for three years since separatists joined jihadists to seize the region from the government in Bamako. The militants have staged a series of high profile attacks in the past year, mainly in the north of the country, but also in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.