Bamako — THE United Nations mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has condemned recurring car bomb attacks by armed groups targeting mainly women and children in the country.
An unspecified number of women and children aged from 9 months to 14 years were killed and scores others injured during the attack in the northeastern Gao city.
Among those wounded in the latest attack earlier this week were some MINUSMA peacekeepers.
Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Mali, expressed anger at the attack.
"This attack is all the more abject as it targeted civilians," the envoy said.
Annadif expressed confidence would not hinder progress made in the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation.
"The enemies of peace will not succeed in hindering the return of Malians to return peace and stability in the country with the commitment of the international community," he said.
The West African country of 19 million is enduring a rebellion by some Islamist groups. Ethnic clashes have added to the country's woes.
MINUSMA was established in 2013 to stabilise Mali after the rebellion the previous year.
It is the UN's most dangerous peacekeeping mission, with 150 peacekeepers killed out of a force of about 11 000.