3 killed in Mali Rocket Attack

3 killed in Mali Rocket Attack3 killed in Mali Rocket Attack

Unknown attackers fired dozens of rockets towards a UN base on the outskirts of the north Malian town of Kidal early on Sunday, killing at least three people, the United Nations said.

The incident is the third attack in the West African country this weekend, pointing to ongoing unrest two years after France helped retake the desert north from al Qaeda-linked militants, Reuters reported.

“This morning, the MINUSMA (UN’s Mali peacekeeping force) compound in Kidal was the target of more than 30 rockets and shells as part of a sophisticated attack,” the UN said in a statement. One UN peacekeeper and eight others were injured, the statement added.

Security sources said that UN and French troops who share the base returned fire and sent air support. The peacekeeper killed was Chadian.

At least one shell fell on a nearby camp for Tuareg and Arab nomads, killing two people and injuring several children, a witness said.

France launched a UN-backed military intervention in its former colony in January 2013 to drive militants from towns in northern Mali which they had seized a year earlier.

The militants were scattered but continue to mount an insurgency against the Malian army and UN troops based there.

In addition, a Sahara-based militant group on Saturday claimed responsibility for a rare attack in Mali’s southern capital Bamako that killed five people, including two foreigners.

The group al-Mourabitoun has claimed responsibility for previous attacks on UN peacekeepers.