Mali attack kills peacekeeper, wounds 10 French soldiers

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) – Officials said a UN peacekeeper is dead and 10 French soldiers have been wounded after an extremist attack in northern Mali.

Residents in the town of Timbuktu reported hearing two large detonations Saturday near a camp for the UN mission known as MINUSMA.

Ten soldiers from the French military operation known as Barkhane were among those hurt – five seriously, according to the Malian security ministry. There was no immediate claim of responsibility though a number of extremist groups are active in the region.

A security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to reporters, said one of the vehicles used in the attack had been disguised as a MINUSMA vehicle while the other was marked as a Malian military vehicle.

A French soldier of the Barkhan operation, an anti-insurgent operation in Sahel, equipped with binoculars, standing guard at the Paskal camp at Timbuktu’s airport in this March 8, 2016 file photo. A rocket and car bomb attack left one UN peacekeeper dead, a dozen wounded and another dozen French soldiers hurt at Timbuktu’s airport area, Mali’s security ministry said on April 14. – AFP