In Mali 2 wounded after gunmen attack UN base

Gunmen attacked a UN base in central Mali on Monday, wounding a UN peacekeeper and a Malian soldier, local officials and soldiers said.

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UN officials in Mali have denounced the use of child soldiers by some of armed groups in the north of the country play

UN officials in Mali have denounced the use of child soldiers by some of armed groups in the north of the country

(AFP/File)
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Gunmen attacked a UN base in central Mali on Monday, wounding a UN peacekeeper and a Malian soldier, local officials and soldiers said.

"The suspected jihadists fired on the UN mission at Douentza from a hill," a local elected official told AFP.

Malian troops repulsed the attackers, who lost two of their own men in the raid, he added.

"The terrorists targeted the peacekeepers of MINUSMA," said another local official, using the acronym for the UN force in Mali.

A Malian military source, confirming the attack, said reinforcements had been sent to bolster security in the town, he added.

Last week, UN peacekeepers accused former rebel fighters and a rival pro-government militia in the north of the country of having used child soldiers in recent clashes.

On Friday, nine child soldiers aged 15 to 17 were handed over to UN peacekeepers in the northern city of Kidal.

In 2012, key cities in northern Mali fell under the control of jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda, who exploited an ethnic Tuareg-led rebel uprising.

Although the Islamists were largely ousted by a French-led military operation, attacks have continued on UN and French forces, civilians and the Malian army.

The armed groups accused of abuses by the UN operate in areas where Mali's army is absent or has a very limited presence. Allegations of collusion between the former rebels and jihadists continue to circulate.

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