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Five UN soldiers killed in central Mali attack

The nationalities of the soldiers were not released & so far no group had taken responsibility for the attack.

FILE: Malian troops take position outside the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on 20 November, 2015. Gunmen went on a shooting rampage at the luxury hotel in Mali's capital Bamako, seizing 170 guests and staff in an ongoing hostage-taking that has left at least three people dead. Picture: AFP.

UNITED NATIONS - Five United Nations peacekeepers were killed and one other seriously injured in an ambush in central Mali on Sunday, the United Nations said.

A convoy of soldiers in the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) was attacked 30 km west of Sevaré, the UN said.

The nationalities of the soldiers were not released and so far no group had taken responsibility for the attack.

It comes 10 days after five MINUSMA peacekeepers from Chad were killed in an ambush in the northern region of Kidal. Two days ago five Malian soldiers were killed near the town of Gao.

"I condemn in the strongest terms this despicable crime," said MINUSMA head Mahamat Saleh Annadif, adding that it constituted "crimes against humanity under international law".

MINUSMA and French forces have been stationed in northern Mali for three years since separatists joined jihadists to seize the region from the government in Bamako.

The militants have staged a series of high profile attacks in the past year, mainly in the north of the country, but also in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.

A peace accord signed last year was meant to bring stability to the region, but attacks against the UN mission, Malian military and civilians are still frequent.

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