Mali: 3 dead in rocket attack on UN base in Kidal in north
Three people were killed and 12 wounded in a rocket attack early Sunday on a UN base in Mali’s northeastern city of Kidal, said the United Nations mission in Mali.
More than 30 rockets and shells hit the UN base in Kidal at about 5:40 am Sunday, said the UN mission. The attack killed a UN soldier and two civilians and an additional 12 people were wounded, said the UN.
The UN forces returned fire at about 6 a.m. It said the rocket attack was launched from a spot about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the camp.
The attack was not immediately claimed but the Islamic extremist group Ansar Dine claimed a similar attack against UN peacekeepers in Kidal in September 2014.
The rocket attack on the UN camp in Kidal comes a day after Islamic extremists attacked a restaurant in the capital, Bamako, killing five people, including a French person and a Belgian. Bamako is about 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) southwest of Kidal.
A masked gunman sprayed bullets early Saturday in La Terrasse, a restaurant and bar that is popular with foreigners. Al Mourabitoun, or The Sentinels, a northern Mali jihadist group allied with al-Qaida, claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the Mauritanian news website Al-Akhbar. The website often receives messages from Malian extremists.
In addition to those killed, nine people were wounded including two experts for the UN mission, said the UN stabilization mission in Mali. The two are Swiss soldiers and were flown to Senegal for treatment, said the Swiss Defense Ministry.
In 2012 Islamic extremists seized control of northern Mali with the aim of imposing Shariah law in the country.
French forces led a military operation in early 2013 that largely expelled the al-Qaida-linked extremists from a vast area they had controlled in northeastern Mali. The military operation in that region continues, and sporadic combat and clashes take place there. Violence has been rare in Bamako despite the continued upheaval in the north.
Source:: Indian Express