At least 13 UN peacekeepers, 12 of them from Germany, were wounded in northern Mali in a car bomb attack, the UN mission in Mali and the German government said.
The attack targeted a temporary base set up by the peacekeepers near the village of Ichagara in the northern Gao region, where insurgents linked to Al Qaeda and Daesh are active.
Three of the German soldiers were severely wounded, Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said in a statement. Two of them are in a stable condition and the third is still in surgery, she said.
Kramp-Karrenbauer said one non-German peacekeeper was also wounded. A UN mission spokesperson said 15 peacekeepers in all were wounded. It was not immediately clear what explained the discrepancy.
The UN mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA, has deployed over 13,000 soldiers to contain violence by armed groups in the north and centre of the West African nation.
Armed attacks by militants and other groups are rampant across vast swathes of Mali and its neighbours Burkina Faso and Niger despite the presence of the peacekeepers and thousands of other international troops in the region.
MINUSMA has recorded about 230 fatalities since 2013, making it the deadliest of the UN’s more than dozen peacekeeping missions. Germany contributes up to 1,100 troops to MINUSMA. Most of them are based in Gao.—Reuters