Two U.N. soldiers killed in Mali attack

A UN peace keeper stands guard outside a polling station in the Northern Mali town of Gao. (File photo: AP)

Two United Nations peacekeepers were killed and some 30 wounded Friday when suspected Islamists attacked their base at Kidal in restive northeastern Mali, U.N. sources said.

“Our camp at Kidal was attacked by terrorists early Friday morning. We fought back but two peacekeepers were killed and 30 others injured,” a source from the UN’s MINUSMA peacekeeping mission told AFP.

A Guinean member of the U.N. force told AFP the dead soldiers were from his country’s contingent.

The attack came a week after at least four suspected extremists and a Malian soldier were killed in an attack on a U.N. military camp at Timbuktu.

That assault came just a day after the fabled city had celebrated the restoration of its greatest treasures - earthen mausoleums dating to mediaeval times that were destroyed during an extremist takeover in 2012.

The sprawling north of the country continues to be beset by violence having fallen under the control of Tuareg-led rebels and extremist groups linked to al-Qaeda in 2012.

The extremists sidelined the Tuareg to take sole control and although they were largely ousted by a French-led military operation in January 2013 extremist groups continue to threaten.

Large swathes of Mali remain lawless, despite a June peace deal between the former Tuareg rebels and rival pro-government armed groups.

Last Update: 10:57 KSA 13:57 - GMT 10:57