A statement from the Mission announced that forces situated in Ber, close to Timbuktu city “repelled a complex attack, launched simultaneously by several pickups armed with rocket launchers and machine guns,” on Saturday at dawn. The morning raid was followed up by an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in the Mopti region, situated south of the initial attack location.
Burkina Faso's General Staff of Armies later announced the targeted soldiers to have been part of its forces committed to the UN mission, Presstv Reported.
UN Special Representative and head of MINUSMA Maamat Saleh Annadif condemned the assaults carried out by “enemies of peace”, adding that it "will not undermine our determination to support Mali, on its march to peace”.
Annadif further said that “the perpetrators of these crimes must be prosecuted and made to pay for their actions”, stressing that attacks on UN peacekeepers can be recognized as a war crime based on international law.
Moreover, the MINUSMA chief expressed his condolences to the families of the killed soldiers and wished the wounded a “speedy and complete recovery”.
Mali has been in turmoil since Tuareg rebels and loosely allied militants - some with links to Al-Qaeda - took over the desert north in 2012. French forces intervened the following year to allegedly fight back the militants, but they have since regrouped and now regularly launch attacks on civilians, government soldiers and international missions.