Mali targeted again: Suspected jihadists kill 3 at UN base

Four or five rockets land inside base in north of country; attack follows terror attack on hotel in capital that killed 20.

By REUTERS
November 28, 2015 13:59
2 minute read.
 A UN armored vehicle patrols in Bamako, Mali, November 23, 2015.

A UN armored vehicle patrols in Bamako, Mali, November 23, 2015. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

BAMAKO - The United Nations said unknown attackers fired rockets at a UN peacekeeping base in Kidal in northern Mali on Saturday, killing three people inside, in the latest sign that the West African country's Islamist insurgency is intensifying.

French troops and the 10,000-strong UN force are struggling to stabilize the former French colony where Islamist militants attacked a hotel in the capital on Nov. 20 and killed 20 people, in their bloodiest attack yet in the country's south.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Desert-based jihadists regularly launch rockets and missiles at northern UN bases, especially around full moon when the lighter nights make it easier to target the camps, although it is rare for the missiles to land inside the camp.

"They fired rockets from around 4am inside the MINUSMA camp," Olivier Salgado, Deputy Chief of Communication in the peacekeeping mission, told Reuters.

"We have three dead and four seriously injured," he said, adding that there were a total of 20 wounded and that medical evacuations were underway.

He did not name the victims' nationalities although a UN source said two were peacekeepers from neighboring Guinea.

A witness said that bursts of gunfire were heard shortly after the rockets landed as well as mortar fire coming from inside the camp.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


JIHADIST WARNING

A security source in north Mali who wished to remain anonymous said the Kidal camp had received a warning two days before the attack from an unnamed jihadist group. A local deputy for Kidal Ahmoudene Ag Ikmasse also blamed radical Islamists.

Northern Mali was taken over by Islamist fighters, some with links to al-Qaida, for most of 2012. They were driven out by a French-led military operation a year later, but violence has continued and spread into formerly safe areas in the south.

Three Islamist militant groups - al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI), its splinter group al Mourabitoun and Massina Liberation Front (MLF) - claimed last week's attack on the Radisson Blu hotel that killed Russian and Chinese nationals as well as an American, among others.

Security analysts say the groups could be collaborating.

Some analysts say the spike in jihadist attacks is designed to disrupt the implementation of a peace deal signed between various northern armed groups and Mali's government in June.

"I want to reiterate that these attacks will not impede the determination of the United Nations to support the Malian people and the peace process," said UN Special Envoy for the Mali mission, Mongi Hamdi on Saturday.

A French soldier, part of the 3,500 Barkhane anti-terrorism force operating across the Sahel, and a UN peacekeeper were killed by landmines this week.

Germany has said it is willing to send up to 650 soldiers to bolster the UN force which has yet to reach its full strength of 12,680 men.

Other West African states are also battling Islamist militants. Boko Haram, the leading such group in the region, has this year extended its attacks from Nigeria to neighboring states of Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul
November 20, 2018
Putin and Erdogan celebrate TurkStream gas pipeline as relations warm

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN