Civilians killed, peacekeepers wounded by mines in Mali


Three civilians died in northern Mali when their vehicle hit a landmine and two UN peacekeepers who went to the rescue were wounded when a second mine exploded, a Malian military source said.

Both mines exploded in the vicinity of a UN base at Tessalit in the region of Kidal, said a statement by the UN mission in Mali, which condemned the attack.

The explosions are the latest violence around Kidal, a stronghold of the separatist Co-ordination of Azawad Movements, which is dominated by ethnic Tuaregs. In 2012, separatists seized northern Mali with support from militants linked to al Qaeda.

Nationalist and French forces recaptured the area in 2013 and the United Nations established a peacekeeping mission. But violence in the region has persisted with attacks by militia groups and radical Islamists.

The government has said it would commit $175 million a year between 2016 and 2018 to supporting a peace agreement it signed in June with the separatists.