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UN Condemns Killing of Peacekeeper in Mali

By VOA News April 16, 2018

The United Nations Security Council has condemned in "the strongest terms" a deadly extremist attack Saturday on a U.N. military camp in northern Mali.

A U.N. peacekeeper from Burkina Faso was killed in the attack on the camp in Timbuktu, and a number of people were wounded, including seven French soldiers.

The Associated Press reports 15 of the attackers were killed in a counterattack.

The French army said the assault was "particularly sophisticated and underhanded," with some of the assailants entering the camp disguised as peacekeepers with the U.N. mission, known as MINUSMA.

MINUSMA head Mahamat Saleh Annadif said in a statement that "This attack illustrates once again the cowardice for terrorist groups in the face of which United Nations and their partners continue to stand opposed with unfailing determination."

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the U.N.'s peacekeeping chief, said on Twitter: "Our determination to support peace in Mali remains unshakeable."

The Security Council, in a statement issued Sunday, called on Mali to "swiftly investigate" the attack and "bring the perpetrators to justice."

The Council warned that "attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law."

The Security Council "reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed."

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. However, a number of extremist groups are active in the area.

More than a dozen of Timbuktu's holy shrines, built in the 15th and 16th centuries when the city was revered as a center of Islamic learning, were razed in a campaign against idolatry by al-Qaida-linked jihadists several years ago.

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