Kidal: Gunmen attacked and fired rockets at a UN peacekeeping base in Kidal in northern Mali on Saturday, killing two soldiers and a civilian, reported Aljazeera.
“The attack happened at around 4am [0400 GMT]. Four or five rockets landed inside the base. Quite a few people were wounded but it’s too early for a precise number,” Olivier Salgado, spokesman of the peacekeeping force in Mali (MINUSMA), told Reuters.
French troops and the UN force are struggling to stabilize the former French colony where armed assailants attacked a hotel in the capital on November 20 and killed 20 people.
Three armed groups – Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI), its splinter group Al-Mourabitoun and Massina Liberation Front (MLF) – claimed the attack on the Radisson Blu hotel. Security analysts say they could be collaborating.
Northern Mali was occupied by fighters, some with links to al-Qaeda, for most of 2012. They were driven out by a French-led military operation, but violence has continued.
Other West African governments are also battling insurgents. Boko Haram, the leading armed group in the region, has this year extended its attacks from Nigeria to the neighbouring states of Niger, Cameroon and Chad.