January 9, 2020 / 10:02 AM / 16 days ago

Twenty wounded in northern Mali rocket attack on U.N. base

BAMAKO (Reuters) - Twenty people were wounded on Thursday in northern Mali’s restive Kidal region, including 18 U.N. peacekeepers from Chad, in a rocket attack on a military base for U.N., French and Malian forces, a U.N. spokesman said.

Six of the peacekeepers from the MINUSMA mission were seriously wounded by the attack on the base in the town of Tessalit, spokesman Olivier Salgado told Reuters. He said it was unclear who was responsible.

France’s military said none of its soldiers were injured.

Kidal has been under the control of Tuareg rebels since an uprising in 2012, and tensions regularly flare between armed groups and the government.

The MINUSMA mission has over 13,000 troops in Mali to contain violence caused by various armed groups in the north and centre of the country, including jihadists linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State.

The French army operates a separate anti-insurgent mission across West Africa’s arid Sahel region, where jihadist and ethnic violence is worsening.

Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Additional reporting by Souleymane Ag Anara and Tangi Salaun in Paris; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Toby Chopra

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