Bomb blast wounds UN peacekeeper in Mali: UN
A roadside bomb struck a UN vehicle in northern Mali today, wounding a peacekeeper from Guinea during a UN visit of foreign dignitaries, an official said.
United Nations: A roadside bomb struck a UN vehicle in northern Mali today, wounding a peacekeeper from Guinea during a UN visit of foreign dignitaries, an official said.
The improvised explosive device (IED) detonated at around 1130 GMT at least 400 meters from the Kidal air strip, said the head of the UN mission in Mali, Albert Koenders.
"Initial reports indicated that the peacekeeper, who was in a vehicle and bumped into this IED, seriously damaged his vehicle and is now in hospital," he told reporters in New York.
Koenders said his deputy, ambassadors from Germany and Denmark and a representative from Canada had been on an official visit at the time of the attack but not in the precise vicinity.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Koenders warned an increasing number of IED attacks were being carried out by armed extremist groups in the west African country.
French troops pushed the Al-Qaeda-linked militants out of northern towns early last year and have kept up operations against residual groups of insurgents.
France is winding down its force from a peak of around 5,000 soldiers but is to keep 1,000 troops in Mali beyond the spring.
The UN peacekeepers took over security in July last year from a pan-African military mission which had been supporting the French troops.