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5 Chadian Peacekeepers Killed in Latest Mali Violence

FILE - UN peacekeepers from stand guard during a patrol through a neighborhood on the outskirts of Timbuktu, Mali, March 31, 2014.

The U.N. says five Chadian peacekeepers have been killed and three wounded after being attacked in northern Mali.

A statement from the U.N. secretary-general's spokesman says the peacekeepers' convoy hit a roadside bomb and then came under fire from gunmen.

The attack took place Wednesday about 9 miles (15 kilometers) north of Aguelhok in the northern Kidal region. Seven other peacekeepers have been killed there so far this year.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called it a "heinous attack'' and noted it would be considered a war crime under international law.

Islamic extremists have been attacking international peacekeepers and Malian soldiers working to stabilize the north three years after a French-led military campaign ousted jihadis from power.