4 soldiers killed in Mali attack; UN vehicle hits land mine

By BABA AHMED | Associated Press | Published: April 18, 2017

BAMAKO, Mali — Armed men attacked an army camp in northern Mali, killing at least four soldiers and wounding another, an army spokesman said Tuesday, while the United Nations peacekeeping mission said one of its vehicles hit a land mine in a separate incident, seriously wounding three.

The attack on the army camp in Gourma-Rharous, about 75 miles east of Timbuktu, also destroyed a half-dozen vehicles, army spokesman Lt. Col. Diarran Kone said.

The town has been targeted regularly by Islamic extremists. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the latest attack.

In the other incident, the U.N. vehicle was escorting a logistics convoy when it hit the land mine about 18 miles south of Tessalit in the Kidal region, the U.N. mission said. Two peacekeepers and one civilian were wounded, it said.

The recently formed extremist group Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen claimed responsibility for the attack and for another one on U.N. forces in the Kidal region, according to the SITE Intelligence Group which monitors online extremist activities.

The extremist group said it destroyed two U.N. vehicles on the road between Aguelhok and Tessalit on Monday and hit the same convoy Tuesday.

Ansar Dine, Al-Mourabitoun and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb in March declared they had merged into Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen.

A French-led intervention drove Islamic extremists from strongholds in northern Mali in 2013, but attacks continue.


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