Three Ivorian peacekeepers from the UN’s mission in Mali were killed Wednesday during an attack on a convoy near in the centre of the war-torn Sahel state, the UN said.
The MINUSMA peacekeeping mission said in a statement that the convoy was travelling on a road linking the central town of Douentza to the city of Timbuktu further north when one of the vehicles hit an improvised explosive device (IED).
Gunmen then opened fire on the troops, according to the statement. Three soldiers died and six were wounded.
“The robust response of the peacekeepers drove the cowardly assailants to flee,” the MINUSMA statement said.
Mali has been struggling to contain a jihadist insurgency that first broke out in the north of the country before spreading to the centre, as well as to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.
Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed to date, and deadly IED attacks are common.
IEDs have claimed the lives of five French soldiers in recent weeks.