Crime & Justice

Al-Qaeda affiliate claims deadly attack on UN mission in Mali

Rabat, June 13 (EFE).- An al-Qaeda affiliate in the Sahel has claimed responsibility for the attack on a security patrol of United Nations forces in the Timbuktu region of Mali last week that killed at least one UN peacekeeper and wounded four others.

The Islamist organization Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) said its fighters were involved in the attack near the Ber town last Friday.

The UN peacekeeping mission in the country (MINUSMA) said militants attacked the with an improvised explosive device (IED) followed by direct fire.

The group claimed responsibility in a statement distributed by its propaganda arm, Az-Zallaqa. EFE accessed the release on Tuesday.

The statement carried a photo of a UN military vehicle, allegedly carrying the victims, overturned and destroyed.

“This tragic loss is a stark reminder of the risks that our peacekeepers face while working tirelessly to bring stability and peace to the people of Mali,” Minusma head El-Ghassim WANE said in a statement after the attack.

Minusma was established a decade ago after rampant violence in the north of Mali.

The region has been in a state of conflict since a failed military coup by extremist militants, which led to the signing of a peace deal between the government of the day and armed group coalitions in 2015.

According to its website, the mission is the most dangerous deployed worldwide by the UN. It has suffered 303 fatalities as of May this year.

With militant groups loyal to the Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda, Mali suffers from significant insecurity, with weekly attacks targeting military personnel and civilians. EFE


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