8 UN Peacekeepers killed in northern Mali camp blast

Bamako [Mali]: As many as eight members of United Nations’ Peacekeeping Force lost their lives in a deadly attack in northern Mali on Sunday.

Al Jazeera reported that the attack targeted the UN peacekeepers’ camp in Aguelhoc, located 200 kilometres away from the country’s northern border with Algeria.

A press statement released by the UN Peacekeeping Operations in Mali, also known as the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), stated early on Sunday morning that the peacekeepers in Aguelhok repelled a complex attack by attackers arriving on board many armed vehicles.
The peacekeepers neutralised many enemies and pursued the attackers in their rout. The provisional record shows eight peacekeepers, which fell on the battlefield and several others wounded.
The wounded were evacuated to MINUSMA hospitals. The MINUSMA Force conducts air cover operations in the area, the statement read.

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Mali, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, strongly condemned this despicable and criminal attack against the peacekeepers. He offers his condolences to the families of the missing.

“This complex and cowardly attack illustrates the terrorists’ determination to sow chaos; it demands a robust, immediate and concerted response from all forces to eradicate the danger of terrorism in the Sahel,” Annadif said.

Annadif further recalled that attacks against peacekeepers may constitute a war crime under international law.

The Force Commander of MINUSMA warmly congratulates the Blue Helmets of Aguelhok by their resolute and courageous action, to repel the attackers and to chase them in their flight. He praised the bravery of the MINUSMA peacekeepers and saluted their heroic response to the attackers.

“In close cooperation with its partners, MINUSMA will remain proactive and will not let this barbarity go unpunished,” the UN Special Representative added.

Mali, declared as one of the most dangerous countries for UN Peacekeepers, has been under constant threat from the Islamic State (ISIS) and the other affiliates of the Al Qaeda.