Three dead in rocket attack on UN base in north Mali
BAMAKO – Agence France-Presse
A file photo taken on July 27, 2013 shows United Nations (UN) soldiers patrolling in the northern Malian city of Kidal. AFP PhotoTwo United Nations peacekeepers and a civilian contractor were killed on Nov. 28 in a rocket attack on a U.N. base in northern Mali claimed by the jihadist Ansar Dine group, which the Security Council warned could be a war crime.
Some 20 people were also wounded in the pre-dawn attack on the camp in Kidal, four of them seriously, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said.
The attack comes a week after a deadly siege at a Bamako hotel, and at a time of heightened global concern about terrorism after killings in Paris, both claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“Our camp in Kidal was attacked early this morning by terrorists using rockets,” a MINUSMA official told AFP.
The dead included two Guinean peacekeepers and a contractor from Burkina Faso, the U.N. said.
“The terrorists fired shots and then fled,” another U.N. source added.
The U.N. Security Council’s 15 members urged the Malian government to investigate and stressed that “those responsible for the attack should be held accountable.”
“The members of the Security Council underlined that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law,” they said in a unanimous declaration.
An “outraged” U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and wished the wounded a speedy recovery.
A senior Ansar Dine (Defenders of the Faith) figure, Hamadou Ag Khallini, told AFP that the attack was “in response to the violation of our lands by the enemies of Islam.”
“We claim the attack in the name of all the mujahedeen,” he said.
The Ansar Dine group is allied to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Macina Liberation Front, the latter of which claimed responsibility for the Nov. 20 attack on the luxury Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital during which 20 people died, including 14 foreigners.