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Attack in Mali kills UN peacekeeper, wounds 4

June 1, 2016 9:35 AM
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Attack in Mali kills UN peacekeeper, wounds 4

China calls on government, United Nations to take action after early morning raid

China says one Chinese UN peacekeeper has been killed and four injured in an early morning attack on their base in Mali.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying described the attack Wednesday as an act of terrorism and a serious crime that would not be tolerated.

Hua said China is calling on the Malian government and the United Nations to conduct an immediate investigation and bring the perpetrators to justice. The attack was the second on UN peacekeepers in recent days, with at least five Togolese killed in an attack Sunday by extremists in central Mali.

China has more than 2,400 troops assigned to United Nations peacekeeping missions in Mali, Liberia and five other African nations.

Northern Mali has been unstable since it fell to Tuareg separatists and then Islamic extremists following a military coup in 2012. Separatists, militia groups and the government signed a peace deal in June.

In 2013, the French pushed Islamic militants out of Mali's northern cities and towns, but jihadists continue to carry out attacks, often targeting UN peacekeepers. These attacks are more common around full moons when the lighter nights make it easier to target the camps, although it is rare for the missiles to land inside the walls.

Extremists extended their reach further south last year, including an assault on a Bamako restaurant and bar popular with foreigners in March that killed five people and another on a hotel in Mali's central Sevare town in August that killed 13. Islamic extremist group Al-Mourabitoun claimed responsibility for both attacks.

In November Islamic extremists attacked a luxury hotel further south in the capital, Bamako, in which 20 people were killed.


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