28 Togolese peacekeepers injured in central Mali attack: MINUSMA

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BAMAKO, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- A total of 28 Togolese peacekeepers were injured, including five seriously, in an attack on Wednesday targeting the temporary base of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in central Mali, MINUSMA's spokesperson Olivier Salgado confirmed Thursday.

The attack was carried out by unidentified armed men, Salgado said, adding that it was a vehicular suicide that exploded with its driver on board near the temporary base.

According to him, the main objective of the presence of the temporary base was to contribute to reducing violence against the populations, restoring calm in the regions where community tensions were high, and neutralizing the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

At around 7 a.m. local time Wednesday, a temporary base of the MINUSMA in Kerena, located near Douentza, in Mali's central region of Mopti, was attacked. A preliminary assessment of the MINUSMA indicated that at least 20 peacekeepers were injured, with no death.

The head of MINUSMA Mahamat Saleh Annadif strongly condemned the cowardly attack on the peacekeepers, adding that all measures were taken to ensure the wounded receive appropriate treatment.

In January this year, five peacekeepers lost their lives during the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali where terrorist threats persist since the coup in 2012. In 2020, six peacekeepers were killed on mission.

The MINUSMA was deployed in 2013 to support political processes in Mali. During a failed coup in 2012, extremist militias took control of Mali's north. A UN-backed peace deal in 2015 between the government and various armed groups failed to stabilize the situation in the country's central and northern regions, with attacks multiplying in the past years. Enditem

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