7 UN peacekeepers killed, 3 critically hurt in central Mali


UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations said seven U.N. peacekeepers were killed and three critically injured when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in central Mali on Wednesday.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said it was one of the highest death tolls in Mali, which has been in the forefront of attacks on U.N. peacekepers.

He said the device exploded in the Bandiagara region, hitting the vehicle carrying peacekeepers from Togo who were part of a U.N. logistics convoy traveling from Douentza to Sevare.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls on Malian authorities “to spare no effort in identifying the perpetrators of this attack so that they can be brought to justice swiftly,” Dujarric said.

The U.N. chief sends condolences to the families, government and people of Togo and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured, he said.

Attacks by armed groups linked to al-Qaida against the Malian army began in 2015. Insecurity has worsened with attacks on civilians and United Nations peacekeepers in the country.

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