Shelling and rocket fire on a UN camp near the airport in Mali’s troubled northern city of Timbuktu killed one person and wounded nine peacekeepers, the United Nations peacekeeping mission said late Wednesday.
“A mortar and rocket attack was launched against the MINUSMA camp in Timbuktu,” a UN statement said.
“The provisional toll is nine wounded among the peacekeepers, four seriously who are being evacuated to Bamako. The attack also killed one person, they are still being identified,” it added.
It is the latest attack to hit MINSUMA stationed in the country since 2013 and considered its most dangerous active peacekeeping deployment.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Last year al-Qaeda-linked extremists claimed an attack on the camp, but their rockets landed kilometers away.
The UN mission said it had reinforced the camp’s defenses and deployed air cover to identify where the enemy fire had originated, describing it as a “terrorist” attack.
Sweden’s armed forces confirmed one of its soldiers was wounded, though not severely.
Liberia’s armed forces, who have peacekeepers among the mission, also confirmed “several injuries and other casualties”, according to Prince Johnson, deputy chief of staff. “We are investigating the matter.”
Northern Mali fell to jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda in March 2012, and although these forces were driven out of key towns by a French-led military intervention the following year, the extremists have now spread further south.
The 13,000-strong UN mission was deployed to provide security and assist Malian troops struggling to keep the country safe, but it has been targeted constantly by jihadists, with dozens of peacekeepers killed.
Nine Malian soldiers were killed and five wounded Tuesday, an attack that has become near routine in the country’s north and center.