Malian forces take back UN police base from assailants
Iran Press TV
Fri Feb 5, 2016 1:18PM
Malian forces, backed by UN helicopters, have managed to retake a UN police base in the city of Timbuktu hours after it was seized by yet unidentified assailants.
'It's over now," spokesman for the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) Olivier Salgado said on Friday.
He did not provide any information about possible casualties, but said, 'They are now inspecting the site and looking for explosive devices.'
The UN earlier said unknown attackers had seized the police base on Friday morning while security sources said a Malian army checkpoint in Timbuktu had also come under fire.
The news comes a day after at least four soldiers were killed in a gun attack and landmine explosion in the West African country's northeastern region.
Mali has been witnessing violence linked to militant activity in its northern regions since 2012. The area remains vulnerable to attacks despite a military operation led by France in 2013, which came after the UN Security Council passed a resolution on the deployment of MINUSMA.
Last June, Tuareg separatists, who have launched a number of uprisings since the 1960s, signed a peace deal with the Malian government.
The peace agreement, brokered by Algeria, raised hopes for an end to years of unrest in the country; however, its implementation has proven challenging.
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