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Tuesday, May 26, 2015, Jaishtha 12, 1422 BS, Shaban 7, 1436 Hijr

Militants kill BD UN peacekeeper in Mali ambush
Observer Online Desk
Published : Tuesday, 26 May, 2015,  Time : 11:19 AM,  View Count : 66
Militants have opened fire on two United Nations peacekeepers in Mali's capital Bamako, killing one and wounding the other, security sources say.

A source from MINUSMA, the UN's peacekeeping mission in Mali, said the two UN soldiers were Bangladeshi.

He said the peacekeepers had been travelling from Bamako airport towards the south of the city when they were shot at by assailants from a car.

"Armed men that we have not yet identified shot at two peacekeepers who were on board a UN vehicle on Monday night," a Malian security source said.

"One of them was killed and the other seriously wounded.

"We are seeking clarification and details. This has to be viewed as a terrorist act. The perpetrators are the enemies of peace."

The ambush on Monday came just five days after a militant opened fire on a UN residence in the city's Faso Kanu neighbourhood.

The unidentified gunman shot and wounded a civilian guard and hurled two grenades which failed to explode in the early hours of Wednesday last week, but no troops were hurt.

No group has claimed responsibility for either attack on the UN in Bamako, but they come at a time of strained relations between the government and MINUSMA, which has complained that its impartiality has been "regularly called into question".

Militants linked to Al Qaeda seized control of northern Mali for more than nine months until a French-led military intervention of 2013 that partly drove them from the region.

Despite peaceful elections after the French operation, the country remains deeply divided and the north has seen an upsurge in attacks by pro-government militias and the Tuareg-led rebellion known as the CMA.

The government and several armed groups signed a peace accord on May 15 in a ceremony in Bamako attended by numerous heads of state but missing the crucial backing of the CMA.

More than 40 peacekeepers have been killed since the MINUSMA was established in the West African nation in 2013.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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