Voice of America (Washington, DC)

Mali: Car Bomb in North Kills Several UN Peacekeepers

A spokesman for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali says several peacekeepers have been killed and wounded in a suicide car bombing.

The soldiers, part of the UN peacekeeping force known as MINUSMA, died Saturday, when a suicide bomber detonated his car in front of a bank they were guarding in the northern city of Kidal.

Officials do not have firm word on the number of casualties and there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Several militant groups, including the ethnic Tuareg, used the confusion of a military coup in the capital, Bamako, in March of 2012 to assert control in the country's north, where they planned to establish an Islamist state.

The central government reasserted its control in northern Mali after a French-led military operation in January.

The militants are no longer able to carry out major military actions, but the residual groups of these fighters stage sporadic small-scale attacks in the north.

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