China condemns Mali terror attack

Source:Agencies Published: 2016-6-2 0:13:01

UN peacekeeper killed in shelling by Al Qaeda affiliate

China on Wednesday condemned a terrorist attack in Mali in which a Chinese peacekeeper was killed and four ­others were injured.

According to Chinese ­foreign ministry spokesperson­ Hua Chun­ying, the attack targeted the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

The MINUSMA camp was targeted in a mortar or rocket attack on Tuesday night, a statement from the mission said, during which "a peacekeeper was killed and three peacekeepers seriously wounded."

A second armed attack on a UN demining unit killed "two security guards and an international expert," said the same statement, without giving the nationality of the foreigner who was killed.

"One Chinese peacekeeper was killed and four injured," Hua said. "We express our deep condolences to the victims and sincere sympathies to the bereaved families and the injured."

She added that the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council are taking the attack very seriously, noting that emergency response and follow-up measures had been taken immediately.

China strongly condemns the terrorist attack and has asked Mali's government and the UN to investigate the incident immediately, Hua said.

She reiterated that the ­Chinese government firmly supports international peace and stability in Africa and will continue to participate in international peacekeeping operations that contribute to peace and ­security in the continent.

More than 2,400 Chinese peacekeepers are currently operating in seven African task areas, including Mali, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Hua said.

The last month alone saw three attacks on members of the Mali mission, fuelling concern over its future. It is the deadliest active deployment for UN peacekeepers, with 65 people killed there in three years.

Five Togolese peacekeepers were killed in an ambush by unidentified gunmen in central Mali on Sunday, and five Chadians died on May 19 when their vehicle hit a landmine before coming under fire by Islamist group Ansar Dine.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed ­responsibility for Tuesday's ­attacks, US-based monitoring group SITE said.

According to SITE, AQIM said that fighters from its so-called Al Murabitoun battalion "engaged in a clash with 'crusader occupation forces,'" referring to the UN mission in Mali.

The jihadists called it an "epic battle" and said they were "thrashing" the enemy.

Al Murabitoun has claimed responsibility for several spectacular and bloody attacks in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The UN deployed helicopters to monitor the area, and a rapid reaction force was patrolling the Gao region of the ­country's northwest, ­MINUSMA said in its statement.

Mission chief Mahamat Saleh Annadif said he was "­disgusted by these vicious, cowardly and totally unacceptable attacks," calling on the ­Malian government to track down the attackers and bring them to ­justice.

Posted in: Diplomacy, Africa

blog comments powered by Disqus