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MALI

UN military base in Mali comes under deadly rocket attack

Kenzo Tribouillard, AFP | The northern Malian city of Kidal
1 min

At least one United Nations peacekeeper was killed in a rocket attack on a joint UN-French military base in the northern Malian town of Kidal on Tuesday, a spokesman for the UN mission said.

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Olivier Salgado, a spokesman for the UN force, known as MINUSMA, said between six and eight rockets had been fired at the camp.

“One MINUSMA soldier was killed in the attack,” Salgado said, without giving details on the nationality of the peacekeeper. There were no initial reports of casualties among the French forces from the rocket fire.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack, but Islamist militants operating in Mali’s vast desert north have stepped up attacks on foreign forces in recent weeks. Nine UN peacekeepers were killed in an ambush last Friday.

UN peacekeepers were deployed across northern Mali in an effort to secure the country after separatists and Islamist forces took advantage of a power vacuum created by a coup in the capital in 2012 to seize the north.

The Islamists were scattered by French forces early last year and elections have since been held. But there has been a marked increase in attacks in recent months as France moved its focus away from Mali towards a regional security mission.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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