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Car bomb injures 13 UN peacekeepers in Mali

Car bomb injures 13 UN peacekeepers in Mali

Thirteen UN peacekeepers have been wounded in northern Mali by a car bomb, the UN mission said, while Mali’s army said six of its soldiers were killed in a separate attack in the centre of the country.

The attack on Friday in the north targeted a temporary base set up by the peacekeepers near the village of Ichagara in the Gao region, where Islamist insurgents linked to al-Qaida and Islamic State are active.

A UN mission spokesperson said 12 of the wounded were German and one was Belgian. The mission had earlier said that 15 peacekeepers were wounded but revised that number downward.

Three of the German soldiers were severely wounded, defence minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said in a statement. Two of them are in a stable condition and the third is still in surgery, she said.

At least six Malian soldiers were killed and one wounded in a separate attack in Boni in the neighbouring region of Mopti, the army said in a statement. It provided no further details.

Armed attacks by Islamist militants and other groups are rampant across vast swathes of Mali and its neighbours Burkina Faso and Niger, despite the presence of the peacekeepers and thousands of other international troops in the region.

The UN mission in Mali has deployed over 13,000 soldiers to contain violence by armed groups in the north and centre of the West African nation.

The UN has recorded about 230 fatalities since 2013, making it the deadliest of its more than a dozen peacekeeping missions.

Germany contributes up to 1,100 troops the UN mission in Mali. Most of them are based in Gao.

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