UN peacekeeper among three killed in attack in Mali

Dozens of rockets and shells fired at United Nations base in Kidal

Locals stand outside La Terrasse bar in the Hippodrome neighbourhood of Bamako, Mali, where militants killed five people, including a French citizen and a Belgian citizen, in a gun attack on Saturday. Photograph: Alex Duval Smith/EPA

Locals stand outside La Terrasse bar in the Hippodrome neighbourhood of Bamako, Mali, where militants killed five people, including a French citizen and a Belgian citizen, in a gun attack on Saturday. Photograph: Alex Duval Smith/EPA

 

At least three people have been killed in an attack on the north Malian town of Kidal, including a UN peacekeeper, a witness and a security source said.

The witness counted more than 40 weapons fired in the direction of the base. At least one shell fell on a nearby camp for Tuareg nomads, killing two people and injuring several children, he said.

Security sources said a UN peacekeeper was killed and several were injured in the attack which took place shortly before dawn.

UN and French troops inside the Kidal base returned fire and calm has now returned, they said.

A spokeswoman for the UN mission to Mali declined to give an immediate comment. A French army spokesman could not be reached for immediate comment.

The incident comes a day after a rare attack in a restaurant of Mali’s capital Bamako which killed five people, including two foreigners, highlighting continued volatility in Mali two years after France helped retake territory from al-Qaeda-linked militants.

Five people, including a French person and a Belgian national, were killed after a masked gunman sprayed bullets in a restaurant popular with foreigners in

Mali’s capital early on Saturday.

Al Mourabitoun, or the Sentinels, a northern Mali jihadist group allied with al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the Mauritanian news website Al-Akhbar.

Nine people were wounded including two experts at the UN mission, said the UN stabilisation mission in Mali. The two are Swiss soldiers and are being flown to Senegal for treatment, according to the Swiss defence ministry.