Bamako – Four UN peacekeepers were killed and four were wounded on Wednesday when a mine exploded under their vehicle in central Mali in a deliberate attack, the UN mission in the country said.
“The provisional death toll stands at four peacekeepers dead,” a statement issued by the mission known by the acronym MINUSMA said. “Four more peacekeepers are seriously wounded and their medical evacuation is underway.”
The UN said in a statement that the “explosion of a mine or IED against a Minusma vehicle on the Boni-Douentza road” in the Mopti region killed the four peacekeepers and wounded four more.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “strongly condemned” the attack, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
“These cowardly acts will not deter Minusma’s determination to support the Malian authorities in their efforts to protect civilians and accompany the Malian people in their quest for peace and stability,” Dujarric added.
“MINUSMA is currently upgrading its security presence in central Mali,” Mission chief Mahamat Saleh Annadif said. “Cornered, the terrorists are multiplying their attacks.”
Six Malian soldiers were killed on Tuesday when their vehicle struck a mine, the army said on Wednesday, and a forest ranger was gunned down in a third incident blamed on jihadists.