7 UN peacekeepers killed in Mali attack
News Desk || risingbd.com
Seven UN peacekeepers were killed and three others critically injured when their vehicle was blasted by an improvised explosive device in central Mali on December 8.
However, it is yet to be known whether there is any Bangladeshi among those peacekeepers killed in Mali.
With these deaths, the death toll of UN soldiers in the troubled west African nation rose to 19 so far this year.
According to a UN spokesman, all the peacekeepers killed and injured were from Togo, and the UN peacekeeping department said the seven deaths were the highest number from a malicious act against peacekeepers in Mali this year.
Mali has struggled to contain an Islamic extremist insurgency since 2012. Extremist rebels were forced from power in Mali’s northern cities with the help of a French-led military operation, but they regrouped in the desert and began launching attacks on the Malian Army and its allies. Insecurity has worsened with attacks on civilians and UN peacekeepers.
The 19 peacekeepers who have lost their lives in Mali this year include eight from Togo, three from Egypt including one who died Monday from injuries suffered in an attack in northern Mali last month, four from Ivory Coast and four from Chad, the UN said.
More than 87,000 peacekeepers from over 120 countries currently serve in 12 missions around the world, including about 16,600 in Mali.