February 16, 2015 / 10:20 AM / 3 years ago

Gunmen stage deadly raid on Mali army post; U.N. peacekeepers hurt in blast

BAMAKO (Reuters) - Gunmen killed two Malian soldiers in an attack on an army post 460 km (300 miles) from the capital Bamako and four U.N. peacekeepers were wounded in an explosion deeper into the restive desert northeast over the weekend.

Local troops and U.N. peacekeepers are trying to impose order two years after French forces wrested control of the area from separatist rebels and militants linked to al Qaeda.

Gunmen who attacked an army base in the Mopti region at 6:15 a.m. (0600 GMT) on Saturday were repelled after a fire fight, army spokesman Colonel Souleymane Maiga said.

“The attackers ... fled leaving five bodies behind while carrying others. The army suffered two dead and three wounded,” he said.

In a separate incident, at least four U.N. peacekeepers were wounded by a blast on Sunday near the town of Tabankort, some 1,000 km (600 miles) northeast of Bamako, Radhia Achouri, a spokeswoman for the U.N. mission, MINUSMA, said.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for either incident.

Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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