Three UN peacekeepers injured in attack in northern Mali | Mali News

The base housing Malian, French and UN troops in Tessalit has been targeted, says the UN peacekeeping mission in the country.

Three United Nations peacekeepers were seriously injured in a rocket attack on a military base in northern Mali, the UN and local officials said.

Olivier Salgado, spokesperson for the UN peacekeeping mission in the West African country, MINUSMA, said Sunday’s attack took place on a base in Tessalit, which is home to Malian soldiers, UN peacekeepers and French troops, the AFP news agency reported.

Three peacekeepers were “seriously injured” in the attack, he added.

A Tessalit tribal leader, who declined to be named, told AFP that the camp had been the target of rocket fire.

“The situation is currently calm and under control,” he said.

Mali has struggled with a brutal uprising since 2012, when rebel fighters first appeared during a rebellion by ethnic Tuareg separatists in the north.

France intervened to crush the rebellion, but the fighters dispersed and regrouped, taking their campaign to central Mali in 2015, then to neighboring Niger and Burkina Faso.

First established in 2013, the 13,000-strong MINUSMA has suffered one of the highest death rates of any mission in UN peacekeeping history.

More than 130 of its members have been killed as a result of hostile acts, including six this year, according to UN statistics, out of a total of around 230 dead since the start of the mission.

Earlier this month, four UN peacekeepers kill and several others injured after fighters attacked their base in the northern town of Aguelhok.

In March, around 100 heavily armed fighters on vans and motorcycles attack a military post in Tessit, killing at least 33 soldiers. The army said it killed 20 of the attackers.

Nine soldiers were killed and nine others wounded in a attack in February near the central town of Bandiagara.

Rebel attacks in central Mali typically involve roadside bombs or hit and run raids on motorcycles or vans.

Meanwhile, insecurity has spilled over into the arid scrublands of the Sahel, Burkina Faso and Niger, with groups exploiting the poverty of marginalized communities and exacerbating tensions between ethnic groups.

Attacks increased fivefold between 2016 and 2020, with 4,000 people killed in the three countries last year, up from around 770 in 2016, according to the UN.

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