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Another UN peacekeeper killed in Mali, 5th in a week

January 16, 2021 GMT

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) —

A United Nations peacekeeper from Egypt was killed in Mali’s northern Kidal region on Friday, and another was seriously injured, after their vehicle hit an explosive device during a logistics convoy, the U.N. said.

It brought the toll to five U.N. peacekeepers killed in northern Mali in just a week.

Another explosive device was found at the scene in Tessalit and disabled, the U.N. mission in Mali said late Friday.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday strongly condemned the attack and said attacks against peacekeepers may constitute war crimes, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

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Four peacekeepers from Ivory Coast died from an improvised explosive device and an attack Wednesday by unidentified gunmen in the Timbuktu region. The U.N. said six were wounded.

The peacekeeping mission has been in Mali since 2013, after Islamic extremists took control of major towns in the north. A French-led military operation dislodged them, but the jihadists have since regrouped in rural areas and expanded their reach.

The U.N. says more than 231 peacekeepers in Mali have been killed due to hostile incidents, in what has become known as its most dangerous mission.