A car bomb in northern Mali has wounded 15 UN peacekeepers, the United Nations said on Friday, in the latest attack in the war-torn Sahel state.
The UN said on Twitter that an evacuation was under way after a car bomb struck a temporary base near Tarkint, in the lawless north of the country. It didn’t provide further details.
Ce matin, une base opérationnelle temporaire de la Force de la MINUSMA près du village d'Ichagara, dans la commune de Tarkint, région de #Gao, a été la cible d’une attaque au véhicule piégé. 15 #Casquesbleus ont été blessés, leur évacuation est en cours. pic.twitter.com/l40GsrLFzd
— MINUSMA (@UN_MINUSMA) June 25, 2021
However, a member of the German parliament’s defense committee, who requested anonymity, told AFP that all the wounded were German. Twelve were seriously injured, the MP said.
About 13,000 troops from several nations are deployed in the UN’s MINUSMA peacekeeping mission across the vast semi-arid country.
Mali is struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency that erupted in 2012 and which has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives.
Despite the presence of thousands of French and UN troops, the conflict has engulfed the center of the country and spread to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.
A security official, who declined to be identified, told AFP that the forward operating base attacked on Friday was only set up the previous day, after a land mine damaged a UN vehicle in the area. The peacekeepers set up the temporary base in order to remove the damaged vehicle, the security official said.
On Monday, six French soldiers and four civilians were wounded when a car bomb detonated near a French armored car in central Mali.