Five dead, about 30 injured in attack on UN peacekeepers in Mali

A file photo taken on July 27, 2013 shows United Nations (UN) soldiers patrolling in the northern Malian city of Kidal. At least five UN peacekeepers were killed on Feb 12, 2016.
A file photo taken on July 27, 2013 shows United Nations (UN) soldiers patrolling in the northern Malian city of Kidal. At least five UN peacekeepers were killed on Feb 12, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

UNTIED NATIONS, United States (AFP) - At least five United Nations peacekeepers were killed and some 30 others injured in an attack on a UN base in northern Mali, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said on Friday (Feb 12).

Ban condemned the "complex" assault on the base in Kidal and recalled that targeting peacekeepers constitutes a war crime.

The latest attacks highlighted the vulnerability of the sprawling arid north of the West African country, where UN peacekeepers and Malian soldiers are struggling in their fight against jihadists who had seized vast swaths of territory in 2012.

US spokesman Stephane Dujarric said some of the peacekeepers who were killed were from Guinea and that there "may be other nationalities involved."

Dujarric described the attack early Friday as a "massive and complex one."

The raid coincided with a visit to the region by Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the new chief of the UN mission in Mali known as MINUSMA, who began touring the north on Monday.