Three dead in rocket attack on UN base in north Mali: UN sources

KIDAL, Mali (REUTERS, AFP)- Two United Nations peacekeepers and a civilian were killed in a rocket attack  on a UN base on Saturday (Nov 28) in the northeastern Malian city of Kidal, UN sources said.

“Our camp in Kidal was attacked early this morning by terrorists using rockets,” said an official from the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (Minusma), adding that two Guinean UN peacekeepers and a civilian contractor were killed. A local official confirmed the report.
Another UN source said 14 others were injured in the attack.

French troops and the UN force are struggling to stabilise the former French colony where Islamist militants attacked a hotel in the capital on Nov 20 and killed 20 people.

Three Islamist militant groups - Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), its splinter group Al Mourabitoun and Massina Liberation Front (MLF) - claimed the attack on the Radisson Blu hotel. Security analysts say they could be collaborating.

Northern Mali was occupied by Islamist fighters, some with links to Al-Qaeda, for most of 2012. They were driven out by a French-led military operation, but violence has continued.

Other West African governments are also battling Islamist militants. Boko Haram, the leading such group in the region, has this year extended its attacks from Nigeria to neighbouring states of Niger, Cameroon and Chad.