Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has claimed responsibility for an attack on the United Nations in northern Mali. The attack led to the death of a Chinese peacekeeper and three civilians according to the AFP.
AQIM said its al-Murabitun battalion was involved in an “epic battle” with “Crusader occupation forces” in northern Mali, in a statement the they released, according to the SITE group which monitors militant Islamist operations.
The slain Chinese peacekeeper and three other civilians who died in the attack were with the UN explosives unit, the UN and China have jointly disclosed.
A statement from MINUSMA confirmed the deadly attack that was followed by another onslaught on a UN service provider, ‘‘The attack on the camp of the MINUSMA was followed by another attack with light weapons that targeted the local UNMAS a service provider (Service de Lutte UN Mine) located in another part of the Gao town.’‘
‘‘Two private Malian security officers guarding the local and international expert of the company were killed,’‘ a MINUSMA statement further confirmed.
UN outrage and outright condemnation
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General’s and head of MINUSMA, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, condemned the attacks and tasked the Malian authorities to ensure that the perpetrators of the deadly attack are brought to book.
He expressed his condolences to the families of victims of the two attacks and wished speedy recovery to the injured.
“I am outraged by these vicious attacks, cowardly and totally unacceptable against the camp of MINUSMA where lies the mission personnel, civilians mostly women and men, and against the staff of the partner company UNMAS, also civilians in a city where the MINUSMA and UNMAS have invested heavily in efforts to support local authorities and in support of populations,” a MUNISMA statement said.
Mali’s north continues to suffer deadly attacks by members of AQIM and other local terrorist organizations. The MINUSMA force there was established to help local forces fight back the terrorists.