Bomb kills two peacekeepers in Mali: UN

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Two United Nations troops were killed and four others were badly injured by a roadside bomb in northern Mali on Monday, the UN peacekeeping mission said.

They had been taking part in a search for mines in the Kidal region, the mission wrote on Twitter.


“Two MINUSMA #peacekeepers were killed today, 17 October, when their vehicle hit an Improvised Explosive Device during a #mine search and detection patrol in #Tessalit, Kidal region,” MINUSMA said.

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Four others were seriously injured, it said.

The peacekeepers were part of MINUSMA’s Chadian contingent, an official at the mission’s camp in Kidal said on condition of anonymity.

MINUSMA – the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali – was launched in 2013 to help one of the world’s poorest countries cope with a bloody extremist campaign.

It is one of the UN’s biggest peacekeeping operations, with 17,612 troops, police, civilians and volunteers deployed as of May, according to the mission’s website.

It has suffered 276 fatalities, one of the highest tolls in the history of “blue helmet” operations.

Of these, nearly a quarter have occurred through improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Mali has struggled with an extremist insurgency that began in the north of the country in 2012 and then spread to the center of the country and neighboring Niger and Burkina.

Across the three countries, thousands of civilians, police and troops have died, and some two million people have fled their homes.

Mines and IEDs are among the jihadists’ weapons of choice. They can explode on impact or be detonated remotely.

A report by MINUSMA found that mines and IEDs caused 72 deaths in 2022 as of August 31. Most of the victims were soldiers, but more than a quarter were civilians, it said.

Last year, 103 people were killed and 297 injured by IEDs and mines.

At least 11 people were killed and 53 injured when a bus hit an explosive device in the Mopti area of central Mali last week, a hospital source said.

Mali’s military seized power in August 2020. Ruler Colonel Assimi Goita says he plans to stay in power until 2024 and then hand over to civilian rule.

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