One UN peacekeeper dead, four others injured in north Mali attack

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At least one United Nations peacekeeper was killed and four others seriously injured when their patrol was attacked in northern Mali on Friday, the peacekeeping mission MINUSMA said.

The incident took place near the town of Ber, in the region of Timbouctou – an area that has become a hotbed of violent activity over the past decade.

The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali – said on Twitter that the patrol first encountered an improvised explosive device and was then hit with a direct fire attack.

It did not name perpetrators but said it was a “complex attack” and that updates on casualties would follow.

Armed groups, some linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS), have been war in northern Mali since they arrogated a Tuareg rebellion in 2012.

The violence has spread across the Sahel region under the Sahara and beyond despite international military interventions to help local troops fight back.

Thousands have been killed and more than six million displaced by the fighting, according to the UN.