Three United Nations peacekeepers in Mali were killed and six others wounded in an attack on Wednesday, by unidentified armed elements, the UN mission in the country has said.
The peacekeepers’ convoy was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED), and the troops then came under attack by unidentified gunmen in the vast Timbuktu region.
A robust response by the peacekeepers forced the attackers to flee, and the wounded personnel were evacuated by helicopter, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said.
The three peacekeepers who lost their lives were from Côte d’Ivoire.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres strongly condemned the attack and called on Malian authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Secretary-General @antonioguterres strongly condemns today’s attack by unidentified armed elements against a convoy of the @UN_MINUSMA in the Timbuktu region, which resulted in the death of three Ivorian peacekeepers: https://t.co/OPY8vnmumq
— UN Spokesperson (@UN_Spokesperson) January 14, 2021
Guterres urged the Malian authorities “to spare no efforts in identifying and promptly bringing to justice the perpetrators of this heinous attack.”
He also reaffirmed the solidarity of the United Nations with the people and Government of Mali.
The attack against MINUSMA peacekeepers took place the same day as another attack on the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (known by its French acronym, MINUSCA), in which a Rwandan peacekeeper was killed.