Three United Nations troops were killed and three others wounded by a roadside bomb in northern Mali on Monday, the UN peacekeeping mission said. They had been taking part in a search for mines in the Kidal region, the mission wrote on Twitter.
They died after “their vehicle hit an Improvised Explosive Device during a mine search and detection patrol in Tessalit, Kidal region", MINUSMA said.
The mission updated its earlier toll of two killed after one of those wounded died from their injuries.
“Improvised explosive devices are one of the most serious threats facing our colleagues", MINUSMA head El-Ghassim Wane wrote on Twitter, praising the victims’ “courage and sense of duty".
The peacekeepers were part of MINUSMA’s Chadian contingent, an official at the mission’s camp in Kidal said on condition of anonymity.
MINUSMA — the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali — was launched in 2013 to help one of the world’s poorest countries cope with a bloody jihadist campaign.
It is one of the UN’s biggest peacekeeping operations, with 17,612 troops, police, civilians and volunteers deployed as of May, according to the mission’s website.
In total, 180 of its members have been killed in hostile acts, one of the highest tolls in the history of “blue helmet" operations.
Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have caused the deaths of 75 peacekeepers, the mission said.
Mali has struggled with a jihadist insurgency that began in the north of the country in 2012 and then spread to the centre of the country and neighbouring Niger and Burkina.
Across the three countries, thousands of civilians, police and troops have died, and some two million people have fled their homes.
Mines and IEDs are among the jihadists’ weapons of choice. They can explode on impact or be detonated remotely.
A report by MINUSMA found that mines and IEDs caused 72 deaths in 2022 as of August 31. Most of the victims were soldiers, but more than a quarter were civilians, it said.
Last year, 103 people were killed and 297 injured by IEDs and mines.
At least 11 people were killed and 53 injured when a bus hit an explosive device in the Mopti area of central Mali last week, a hospital source said.
Mali’s military seized power in August 2020. Ruler Colonel Assimi Goita says he plans to stay in power until 2024 and then hand over to civilian rule.
Read the Latest News and Breaking News here(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed - AFP)