KIGALI, Rwanda – Two UN peacekeepers died and four others injured in Mali when their logistics convoy hit an improvised explosive device, according to UN sources.
The incident occurred north of the Mopti region, according to Olivier Salgado, who is a spokesperson for the MINUSMA peacekeeping mission.
“This morning, a logistics convoy of UN MINUSMA hit an improvised explosive device north of Mopti. According to preliminary assessment, the explosion caused the death of two peacekeepers, four others were injured,” he said in a tweet.
MINUSMA maintains more than 13,000 troops in the north and center of Mali to contain growing violence.
Since 2012, Mali has been battling violence orchestrated by militants in northern and central Mali.
Meanwhile, the French army announced on March 7 that it had killed a senior member of al-Qaeda in Mali.
In a statement, the French forces said Algerian Yahia Djouadi, who goes by the alias Abu Ammar al-Jazairi, was killed in an overnight operation conducted on February 25 by the Barkhane force, about 100 kilometers north of the city of Timbuktu.
The statement by the French forces added that Djouadi had been instrumental in al-Qaeda’s expansion in West Africa, and that his killing would weaken and isolate al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
According to the French, they had intended to capture him, but Djouadi did not allow for his capture and preferred to die instead.
Djouadi had been a seasoned and senior member of Al Qaeda, and an aide to the leader of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb Abdelmalek Droukdel, who was also killed by French forces in June 2020.