BAMAKO: (Monitoring Desk) In the latest incident in the military conflict Sahel state, in northern Mali car bomb explodes , injured 15 UN personnel, according to the US and the German government. Mali car bomb explodes a temporary post near Tarkint, in the violent north, the UN stated on Twitter, prompting an evacuation. 12 of the soldiers were German, according to German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, and three were critically hurt.
She added in a statement that two of the three were in stable condition and one had surgery. Kramp-Karrenbauer stated that all of the injured had been removed by helicopter. A Belgian soldier was also hurt in the attack, according to the Belgian defence ministry, who was treated on the spot before being removed.
The UN’s MINUSMA peacekeeping operation has about 13,000 troops from several countries spread across the large semi-arid country. Mali is battling an insurgency that began in 2012 and has killed the lives of thousands of troops and civilians.
Despite the deployment of thousands of French and UN troops, the fighting has expanded throughout the country, even to Burkina Faso and Niger. The forward operating post assaulted on Friday was just set up the day before when a land mine injured a UN vehicle in the region, according to a security official who did not want to be recognized.
According to the security official, the soldiers set up the base in order to remove the damaged vehicle. A car bomb exploded near a French armored vehicle in central Mali on Monday, injuring six French troops and four citizens. Former colonial power France has 5,100 soldiers deployed across the Sahel region after intervening in Mali in 2013 to defeat extremists.
However, French President Emmanuel Macron said earlier this month that the Barkhane force would be phased out. France intends to refocus its efforts in Mali on bolstering the Takuba international task force of special forces. Several hundred protesters gathered in Bamako, Mali’s capital, on Friday to demand that French military leave the country, according to an AFP journalist.