Two civilians killed in Mali rocket attack on UN

AFP , Sunday 8 Mar 2015

Two civilians were killed by stray rockets on Sunday as militants attacked a barracks used by United Nations MINUSMA peacekeepers in northern Mali, a source inside the force told AFP.

"Some rockets landed in a camp located three kilometres (two miles) from the MINUSMA camp. At least two civilians were killed," the source said.

The source said the civilians were members of the nomadic Arab Kunta tribe, which is spread across the Saharan regions of Mali, Algeria, Mauritania and Niger.

The attack came amid heightened security concerns over the deaths of two Europeans and three locals in a jihadist attack on a nightclub in the capital Bamako.

A MINUSMA source and local official initially said there were no casualties in the rocket strike, which came amid heightened security concerns over a deadly jihadist attack on a nightclub in the capital Bamako.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the assault, although Kidal is the cradle of northern Mali's Tuareg separatist movement, which has launched several uprisings from the region since the 1960s.

Tuareg and Arab militias -- loyalist and anti-government -- have forged a peace agreement with the Malian government formulated earlier this month in Algiers, although several rebel groups are yet to sign.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other jihadist groups also carry out operations in Kidal, including the 2013 murders of French journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon.

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