At least three peacekeepers and a Malian soldier were killed in an attack in northeast Mali, the UN’s MINUSMA mission to the country said on Friday.
Besides an initial toll of four dead, another Malian soldier and several other peacekeepers were wounded, some critically, a MINUSMA statement said.
“This morning, a detachment of the MINUSMA force repelled an attack during a coordinated operation with FAMAS (Malian armed forces) in the Menaka region,” the statement said.
It did not give the nationalities of the UN troops involved but contingents from Togo and Nigeria are deployed in the area.
Several of the attackers were killed and others wounded, it added.
“This operation to protect civilians in the region also aimed to bring medical assistance to people in need,” the head of MINUSMA, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, said in the statement, condemning the new attack.
He praised the “bravery” of the peacekeepers and soldiers who “neutralized several terrorists” and called for vigilance and unity in the face of “the cowardice of our adversaries,” referring to militant groups in Mali’s restive north.
On October 26, three Chadian peacekeepers in the UN force were killed when their vehicle hit a landmine and a fourth one later died of his injuries.
Mali’s situation has been particularly volatile since 2012 when militant groups captured the entire north of the country, but were pushed back by a military intervention by France in 2013.
However, large swathes of the country remain outside the control of Malian and foreign forces.