BAMAKO, MALI - Three U.N. troops were killed early Sunday and three wounded when their convoy hit a roadside bomb, an official said, in the latest violence to hit the war-torn West African state.
Chadian peacekeepers were on a routine patrol in Aguelhok commune in the north of the country, according to a U.N. official stationed in the area.
"There are three dead and three seriously wounded," said the official, who declined to be named.
Olivier Salgado, the spokesman for the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, confirmed the account to AFP, adding that reinforcements had been sent into the area.
Known as MINUSMA, the U.N. mission has some 13,000 troops drawn from several states deployed across the vast semi-arid country.
Mali is struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency that erupted in 2012 and which has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives since.
Despite the presence of thousands of French and U.N. troops, the conflict has engulfed the center of the country and spread to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.
Laying roadside bombs is a favored tactic of jihadists active in the Sahel.
Also known as improvised explosive devices, they kill and maim scores of victims every year in Mali.