Three Ivorian peacekeepers from the UN mission in Mali (Minusma) were killed on Wednesday, January 13, in a jihadist attack on their convoy, a Minusma official said on condition of anonymity.
The death of three Ivorian peacekeepers in a jihadist attack was confirmed by a Malian security services official. An initial assessment by UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric had previously reported one dead and seven injured.
The attack took place north of Bambara Maoudé, on the axis between Douentza (center) and Timbuktu (north-west), in a region that is one of the hotbeds of the polymorphic violence plaguing the Sahel. “During a security operation, a Minusma company (…) hit improvised explosive devices (IEDs) before it became the target of fire by unidentified armed men,” Minusma said in a statement.
The response from the blue helmets pushed the attackers to flee. “Preliminary reports, however, show that after this attack, three peacekeepers died and six others were wounded,” she said.
Minusma, established in 2013, has lost more than 230 of its members, including more than 130 in hostilities, according to UN statistics. It is the deadliest mission for peacekeepers in the world. 15,000 men and women, including about 12,000 soldiers according to the UN, are regularly the target of attacks on its convoys or its positions.