U.N. peacekeepers killed in Mali ambush

UN-peacekeepers-killed-in-Mali-ambush.   BAMAKO, Mali, Five United Nations peacekeepers were killed and another seriously hurt in an ambush in central Mali on Sunday.

UN-peacekeepers-killed-in-Mali-ambush
A convoy of the U.N. peacekeeping mission, whose acronym is MINUSMA, was ambushed about 18.5 miles west of the town of Sevare in the Mopti region. FIle photo by Marco Dormino/MINUSMA

A convoy of the U.N. peacekeeping mission, whose acronym is MINUSMA, was ambushed about 18.5 miles west of the town of Sevare in the Mopti region.

The U.N. did not immediately confirm the peacekeepers’ identity.

“I condemn in the strongest terms this despicable crime in addition to other terrorist acts that targeted our peacekeepers, which constitute crimes against humanity under international law,” said Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the special representative of the U.N. secretary general and head of MINUSMA.

He noted this “heinous act of terrorism” occurred on the International Day of Peacekeepers, which was declared by the U.N. General Assembly in 2003. The day pays tribute to the men and women serving in U.N. peacekeeping operations and remembers those who died while serving in that role.

Sunday’s attack was two days after five Malian soldiers were killed and four wounded when their vehicles hit a mine and was fired upon.

Since Sunday, at least 64 MINUSMA peacekeepers have been killed while on active service, while another four have died in friendly fire incidents, according to U.N. figures.

The Mali mission has been hit by internal tension since it launched in July 2013.

By Allen Cone

UPI NEWS