Three UN peacekeepers ‘gravely wounded’ in a rocket attack

Soni Satti

According to UN and local authorities, three UN peacekeepers were seriously wounded in a rocket attack on a military base in the north of the conflict-ridden Sahel state.

The spokesperson for the UN’s MINUSMA mission, Olivier Salgado, stated that the attack took place on a base in Tessalit, which houses Malian forces, UN peacekeepers, and French troops. He added, “three peacekeepers were gravely wounded in the attack.

According to a Tessalit tribal leader who did not want to be identified, the camp had been struck by rocket fire, which hit the barracks of peacekeepers from Chad. He added, “The situation is currently calm and under control,”

Since 2012, when Islamist fighters first appeared during an uprising by ethnic Tuareg rebels in the north, Mali has been fighting a violent jihadist insurgency.

France intervened to put end to the rebellion, but the jihadists dispersed and regrouped, expanding their movement into central Mali in 2015 and neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso after that.

After its inception in 2013, the 13,000-strong MINUSMA has had one of the largest death tolls of any UN peacekeeping operation in existence.

According to UN figures, over 130 of its staff have been killed as a result of violent attacks, including six this year, out of a total of about 230 deaths since the mission began.