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Four UN peacekeepers killed, five injured in Mali attack

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Senegalese soldier of the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) patrols in the streets of Gao, Mali, on July 24, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Four United Nations (UN) peacekeepers have lost their lives and five others sustained injuries after their convoy struck an explosive device and came under fire in central Mali.

The UN mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA, said in a statement that the casualties took place about 20 kilometers north of the town of Bambara-Maoudé in the Timbuktu region on Wednesday.

MINUSMA’s statement fell short of saying who was behind the deadly attack but mentioned that the deceased peacekeepers were from the Ivory Coast.

Militants linked to the Takfiri terrorist groups of al-Qaeda and Daesh operate in the region and have been a major source of instability in much of the West African country.

MINUSMA, with over 13,000 troops to contain violence by armed groups in the country’s north and center, has recorded about 230 fatalities since 2013 — the deadliest of the UN’s more than dozen peacekeeping missions.

The militant-led violence in Mali has also spilled over to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

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