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18 peacekeepers & others wounded in N. Mali rocket attack on UN base

18 peacekeepers & others wounded in N. Mali rocket attack on UN base

Twenty people were wounded on Thursday in northern Mali’s restive Kidal region, including 18 UN peacekeepers, a UN spokesman said. It remains unclear who was responsible for the rocket attack on a military base for UN, French and Malian forces in the town of Tessalit.

Six peacekeepers from the MINUSMA mission were seriously wounded, spokesman Olivier Salgado told Reuters. Kidal has been under the control of Tuareg rebels since an uprising in 2012, and tensions regularly flare between armed groups and the government.

The MINUSMA mission has over 13,000 troops in Mali to contain violence caused by various armed groups in the north and center of the country, including jihadists linked to Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

The French military operates a separate anti-insurgent mission across West Africa’s arid Sahel region, where jihadist and ethnic violence is worsening.