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UN peacekeeper killed in Mali "terrorist" attack

UN peacekeeper killed in Mali "terrorist" attack
FILE- This picture taken on August 29, 2019 shows French soldiers of the United Nations   -  
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Democratic Republic Of Congo

A United Nations peacekeeper was killed and three others injured on Wednesday morning in an attack on their convoy in Kidal, northern Mali, a MINUSMA spokesperson, Olivier Salgado said on Twitter.

The peacekeepers affected are part of the Jordanian contingent of Minusma, said a security official on condition of anonymity. The Minusma had previously mentioned a "terrorist" attack without specifying the alleged perpetrators.

"Their convoy came under direct fire with small arms and RPG (rocket launchers) for about an hour," Salgado said in a first tweet.

"Unfortunately, one of the peacekeepers succumbed to his injuries following the attack this morning," he added later.

With some 13,000 soldiers, the Minusma, created in 2013 to support the Malian political process, is the UN peacekeeping mission that has suffered the most human losses. 172 of its peacekeepers died in attacks, according to the mission.

Mali, a country in the heart of the Sahel, was the scene of two military coups in August 2020 and May 2021.

The political crisis goes hand in hand with a serious security crisis that has been ongoing since 2012 and the outbreak of separatist and jihadist insurgencies in the north.

The country is now ruled by a junta that has turned away from France and its partners.

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