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The UN mission has revealed that four United Nations peacekeepers were killed Friday when suspected jihadists staged a major attack on their camp in Aguelhok, northern Mali.
The peacekeepers ‘bravely pushed back a complex attack carried out by several heavily-armed terrorists,’ MINUSMA said in a statement, adding that four troops had died and others were wounded, according to a provisional toll.
The statement said the attackers had suffered heavy losses and had abandoned “several of their dead”.
A source in MINUSMA said the attack occurred around 200 kilometres (120 miles) from the Algerian border, targeting a contingent of peacekeepers from Chad.
A UN source described the dawn raid as of ‘very large magnitude’ by about 100 attackers on motorbikes and in vehicles.
‘The fighting lasted three hours… mortar shells, shooting exchanges… attempted suicide car bombing’ which was countered,‘ the source said.
He further added that about 20 assailants had been killed.
A Chadian military source said ‘two of our forces’ positions were attacked. We lost four people, including our forces’ detachment commander, and 16 were injured.’
The UN force’s statement called the attack another ‘attempt against the peace process” that will “in no way undermine its determination to continue the execution of its mandate.’
It thanked ‘international forces for their aerial support’
The attack took to 10 the number of MINUSMA troops killed this year.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK