Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Gambia's Yahya Jammeh concedes defeat in presidential polls

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Gambians herald 'new independence' after Jammeh defeat

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE 24 turns 10: A look behind the scenes

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Hollande, the One Term President (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump Keeps 'Em Guessing, Italian Referendum, Austrian Election, Castro's Death (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Far-right at the gates of power in Austria

Read more

FASHION

Discovering the winter 2016/2017 men's fashion collections in Paris

Read more

ENCORE!

Rendez-vous on '42nd Street' as the meta musical comes to Paris

Read more

REPORTERS

Uzbekistan reinforces its tight grip on election and country

Read more

Africa france 24

Deadly attack targets UN mission in northern Mali

© Sebastien Rieussec, AFP I A member of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) is seen in Independance Square on April 8, 2015 in Timbuktu, northern Mali.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-02-12

Gunfire and explosions tore through a UN peacekeeping camp in the northern Malian city of Kidal on Friday, killing at least six people, according to officials.

Smoke could be seen rising from the camp of the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and witnesses said gunfire and the sounds of mortar shelling could be heard from a distance.

At least six peacekeepers from the UN mission were killed and 30 others were wounded in the attack on the camp by suspected jihadists, said Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the head of the UN in Mali.

Reporting from the region, FRANCE 24’s François Rihouay cited MINUSMA officials who said that several mortars had been shot at the compound, at the same time as "a suicide vehicle bomber blew himself up while trying to get into the camp”.

"It is an attack by the Islamists, apparently involving a suicide car bomb. There are some dead and wounded but I do not know the exact number," Radouane Ag Mohamed Aly, a spokesman for the Tuareg separatist Coordination of Azawad Movements, (CMA) told Reuters.

The attack on MINUSMA came a week after an attack on a UN mission police base in the northern Malian city of Timbuktu killed a Malian soldier.

Jihadist groups remain active in northern Mali, three years after a French military operation retook the sandy, under-populated region from jihadist control. The region, the size of France, first fell to Tuareg separatists and jihadist fighters linked to al Qaeda in 2012. But a mix of Islamist groups subsequently sidelined the Tuaregs to wrest full control of the north.

Violence has been increasing in West Africa over the past few months. A November 2015 attack on a luxury hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako left 20 people dead. Last month a similar attack was launched on a hotel in Ouagadougou, the capital of neighbouring Burkina Faso, killing 30. Both attacks were claimed by al Qaeda’s North Africa branch, known as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb or AQIM.

“The people of Kidal say that this attack is no surprise since the UN camp is under permanent threat,” FRANCE 24’s François Rihouay referring to the handful of different militant Islamist groups which both Malian and foreign intelligence services say have dormant cells in the city.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2016-02-12

  • MALI

    Timbuktu re-opens mausoleums destroyed by Islamists

    Read more

  • MALI

    Al Qaeda affiliate claims kidnapping of Swiss nun in Mali

    Read more

  • BURKINA FASO

    French, Canadians among foreigners killed in Burkina Faso hotel attack

    Read more

COMMENT(S)