10 UN peacekeepers killed in attack on Mali’s Aguelhoc camp

Srinagar: At least 10 peacekeepers from Chad have been killed and 25 others wounded in an attack on a United Nations camp in northern Mali, according to the world body.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack, saying it was “in reaction” to the visit to Chad by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the Mauritanian Al-Akhbar news agency, which regularly receives statements from this armed group.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned what he described as a “complex attack” on the UN camp in Aguelhoc, some 200km north of Mali’s Kidal region towards the border with Algeria, and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

According to residents, the attackers came on motorcycles and cars.

“MINUSMA forces responded robustly and a number of assailants were killed,” UN spokesperson Ivan Dujarric said, referring to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.

Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the UN envoy for Mali, condemned what he called a “vile and criminal” attack.

“Peacekeepers of the MINUSMA force at Aguelhok fought off a sophisticated attack by assailants who arrived on several armed vehicles,” he said in a statement.

The attack “illustrates the determination of the terrorists to sow chaos”.

He added the attack demanded “a robust, swift and concerted response”.

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