Landmine kills UN peacekeeper in Mali


A UN peacekeeper was killed in Mali by a landmine on Tuesday, underlining persistent insecurity in the country four days after Islamist militants attacked a luxury hotel in the capital Bamako.

The peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA) said the mine detonated under a vehicle travelling in a convoy around 25 km west of the town of Timbuktu on the road to Goundam killing a civilian member of the mission.

Twenty-two people including two gunmen died in Friday’s assault on the Radisson Blu hotel, which is popular with foreign visitors.

Wolfgang Neumann, chief executive of the Rezidor Hotel Group, which operates the Radisson Blu, said on Tuesday the attackers killed two Malian security guards and three staff members and another two employees were wounded.
“The hotel will do everything to reopen as quickly as possible,” he told a news conference in Bamako.

Jihadist group Al Mourabitoun and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said they carried out the attack in a joint operation. A third group has also claimed responsibility.

The bloodshed underlined the difficulties a force of French troops and UN peacekeepers are having in stabilising the former French colony.

Other West African governments are also battling Islamist militants. Boko Haram, the leading such group in the region, has this year extended its attacks from Nigeria to neighbouring states including Niger.