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Mali Attackers Kill 5 UN Peacekeepers

FILE - In this July 28, 2013 photo, United Nations peacekeepers stand guard at a polling station, during presidential elections in Kidal, Mali.

The United Nations says suspected Islamist militants in Mali killed five peacekeeping troops Friday in an attack on a U.N. base.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the early-morning attack in the northern town of Kidal, which also injured about 30 other people.

In a statement, the U.N. chief said the attack will not weaken United Nations support for the Malian government or efforts to establish peace in the country.

The militants reportedly attacked the Kidal base with rockets and a van bomb around 7 a.m. At least three of the soldiers killed were from Guinea.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Timbuktu, Mali
Timbuktu, Mali

In a separate incident, three Malian soldiers were killed and three others wounded Friday when gunmen ambushed a military convoy on a road between Timbuktu and Goundon, also in northern Mali.

Several Islamist militant groups are active in the region, including the Movement for Oneness (MUJAO) and Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

The groups ruled northern Mali for about 10 months after a coup in Bamako in April 2012, and remain a threat despite being ousted from power in a French-led military operation in early 2013.

Friday's attacks came a week after U.N. peacekeepers and Malian forces retook a police base in Timbuktu that was briefly seized by unknown assailants.