News / Africa

Chadian Soldiers Killed in Attack in Mali

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VOA News
Two Chadian soldiers are dead after a suspected militant attack on a military checkpoint in northern Mali.

Investigators say at least six other soldiers were wounded in the attack Wednesday in the town of Tessalit. Local officials say one civilian was killed.

Security officials say suicide bombers detonated a car filled with explosives and the militants retreated during an exchange of gunfire with soldiers.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Al-Qaida-linked militants have continued to launch sporadic attacks in the region, however, since being scattered by a French-led offensive earlier this year.

The Chadian soldiers were part of a U.N. peacekeeping mission that is taking over security responsibilities.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack. In a statement, he said it would not deter the U.N.'s determination to support the restoration of peace and stability in Mali.

Mali has seen a surge in violence in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita cut short a trip to France after fighting erupted between Malian soldiers and MNLA rebels in Kidal. He also returned home to deal with a mutiny at a military camp near Bamako. The mutiny took place September 30 at the Kati military camp. Former junta members fired off their weapons and took an army colonel hostage, saying they had been passed over during recent promotions.

On Wednesday, Amnesty International said some "elements" of Mali's military appeared to be carrying out extrajudicial killings of soldiers who took part in the mutiny.

The international rights group said the bodies of four soldiers were discovered near Bamako earlier this month and several other soldiers are missing.

Keita's government has been trying to restore order after 21 months of turmoil that included a Tuareg uprising, a coup in Bamako and an Islamist militant takeover in the country's north.

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