Mali: Drei UN-Blauhelme durch Mine verletzt
Das Fahrzeug der drei Blauhelme fuhr am vergangenen Dienstag im Norden Malis über eine Mine. Diese explodierte, tötete aber zum Glück keinen der Mitreisenden. (auf Englisch)
Three UN peacekeepers were wounded Thursday when their vehicle hit a land mine in northern Mali, on the road from Teherdge to Timbuktu, the UN has said. According to MINUSMA — the UN's peacekeeping mission in the region — Danish Major General Michael Lollesgaard and police commissioner Awale Abdounasir, from Djibouti, were traveling in the convoy but escaped the blast without injuries.
Speaking to VICE News Friday, MINUSMA spokeswoman Radhia Achouri confirmed the two UN officials had been part of the convoy, but described the suggestion that the attack had specifically targeted UN chiefs as "speculation."
"Both generals were indeed present. They were traveling to a MINUSMA camp that came under mortar attack three days earlier," she explained. "But we have no reason to believe they were targeted." Achouri likened the incident to other attacks in the region and said insurgents had used "the same modus operandi: a land mine placed in the path of a convoy."
Achouri did say she was "worried" about the number of attacks against UN personnel in Mali, which have been on the rise since last year. "The mission has weathered around 400 attacks, often involving land mines — sometimes suicide attacks, sometimes mortar attacks," she said. "They are carried out by terrorists and drug traffickers, who also take up arms when their interests are at stake."
The UN launched the MINUSMA peacekeeping mission in April 2013, as part of an effort to stabilize the country in the wake of the Tuareg separatist insurgency in northern Mali. Earlier in the year, French forces drove militants who'd been enforcing a strict version of Islamic law — which included stonings, beheadings, and amputations — from the towns they'd seized.
According to official figures, 35 UN peacekeepers have been killed in the line of duty since the start of the operation, many of them by land mines. A further 135 peacekeepers have been seriously wounded, and the mission is considered to be the deadliest for the UN since its intervention in Somalia, between 1992 and 1995.
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