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UN blue helmets and Malian forces targeted in 'cowardly' terrorist attacks

The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali today strongly condemned the "cowardly" attacks that took place against its personnel as well as members of the national armed forces, and voiced deep concern at ongoing insecurity in the northern and central parts of the country.

Early this morning, a vehicle belonging to the peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA) struck an improvised explosive device or mine about 30 kilometres south of Tessalit in the Kidal region, according to a news release issued by the mission. Two peacekeepers and one civilian were seriously injured; the vehicle, part of an escort of a logistics convoy, was damaged.

Also today, unidentified armed men targeted positions of the Malian Armed Forces and the National Guard at Gourma Rharous, located about 120 kilometres east of Timbuktu, according to the mission.

MINUSMA deployed its attack helicopters to the site in support of the Malian Forces and facilitated the medical evacuation of the wounded by air.

"There is hardly a day when reports of abominable acts of terrorism committed by the enemies of peace and the enemies of this country and its people are not received,"saidMahamat Saleh Annadif, the Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of MINUSMA, calling the attacks "cowardly."

"Their real target is the failure of the peace process and their goal is to impose the reign of violence and chaos," he said, adding that the UN remains more committed than ever to support the Malian authorities and the country's defense and security forces.

Mr. Annadif also stressed the need for all Malian parties to redouble their efforts to advance the peace process.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations (UN).
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