Bamako – “Fifteen” attackers were killed in the attack to “take control” of the UN’s “Super Camp” and French force Barkhane on Saturday in Timbuktu, northern Mali, the French authorities announced Sunday.
” A UN peacekeeper was killed in action while defending the camp entrance and seven others were wounded “, said Sunday the United Nations Mission in Mali (Minusma), stating that” two civilians “were also injured. Seven French soldiers, also wounded, were taken in charge by the French medical structures in Gao, about 320 km east of Timbuktu, had indicated in the morning the French general staff. ” At least 15 terrorists have been put out of action “, he said in a statement. The assault on the camp, which houses the headquarters of the UN Mission in Mali (Minusma) and men from Barkhane, near the airport of the city, lasted about four hours. He was ” led by terrorists, disguised for some in blue helmets and using vehicles made up to the codes of the UN or Malian armed forces “, according to the statement of the staff.” This attack aimed to take control of this camp and to cause the greatest number of damages. It included indirect fire, presumably mortars, and the explosion of three vehicles trapped in order to create a breach in the enclosure “. ” The Minusma and Barkhane forces repelled the attacks inside the compound, neutralizing the attackers. Some terrorists carried explosive belts “, added the staff. – The ‘determined’ UN – The head of the Minusma, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, congratulated the peacekeepers who ” valiantly postponed, in close coordination with international forces “, this ” large-scale complex attack “. ” This attack illustrates once again the cowardice of the terrorist groups against which the United Nations and their partners will continue to oppose an unrelenting determination “, added Mr. Annadif, quoted in a statement. The Malian Ministry of Security had evoked the day before two car bombs, one in the colors of the Armed Forces of Mali (Fama) and the other bearing the initials ” A “United Nations, the first” exploded “while the second” could have been immobilized “. In response, four Mirage 2000 planes were sent Saturday from the French base in Niamey, Niger, as well as two Tiger helicopters and three Caimans with commandos on board. ” to contribute to the complete recovery of control “camp and” secure the airport runway “, said Colonel Steiger. Groups linked to Al Qaeda dictated their law in northern Mali from March-April 2012 to January 2013, the date of the outbreak of an international military operation on the initiative of France. Although they have since been dispersed and largely driven out of northern Mali, entire areas of the country are still beyond the control of the Malian, French and UN forces, which are regularly targeted by attacks. – Human lives – The ” Super Camp “Timbuktu, 910 km from Bamako, was the target on May 3, 2017 of an attack” mortars or rockets “in which a Liberian peacekeeper was killed and nine others wounded. On August 15, 2017, gunmen stormed the UN camp, home to contingents from a dozen countries. Five Malian guards from the UN mission, a member of the Malian Gendarmerie and a civilian contract agent of the Minusma had been killed, while ” six attackers ” had been ” slaughtered during the riposte “, according to the UN. Deployed in Mali in July 2013, the Minusma, which has about 12,500 military and police officers, is currently the UN’s most costly peacekeeping mission in terms of human lives. It had, before Saturday’s attack, lost more than 160 peacekeepers, including 102 in hostile acts. It will receive in the coming months the reinforcement of a Canadian air support force, with helicopters and blue helmets. Since 2015, jihadist attacks have spread to central and southern Mali and the phenomenon is spreading to neighboring countries, particularly Burkina Faso and Niger.