4 Bangladeshi UN peacekeepers killed, 4 injured in Mali blast

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Dhaka, Mar 01: Four Bangladeshi UN peacekeepers were killed and four others injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast at Douentza in central Mali on Wednesday.

An ISPR press release said the incident occurred at 2:30PM (local time).

The deceased were identified as Warrant Officer Abul Kalam of Pirojpur, Lance Corporal Akther of Mymensingh, Soldier Raihan of Pabna and Soldier (chef) Jamal of Chapainawabganj districts.

The injured are Corporal Russell of Naogaon, Sainik Akram of Rajbari, Soldier Newton of Jessore, Soldier Rashed of Kurigram districts.

The injured were given necessary treatment, the release said adding, “Other Bangladeshi peacekeepers employed in Mali are safe.”

The ISPR said the injured personnel were getting medcal attention while the other Bangladeshi members of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali were safe.

Six Malian soldiers were killed in a similar incident in the same area a day earlier, the mission (MINUSMA) said in a statement, according to a Reuters report.

MINUSMA also said it was reinforcing its security presence in central Mali, which has seen a surge in violence by Islamist militants, in cooperation with the country’s army as well as regional and international forces.

Around 11,000 peacekeepers from 50 countries, including Bangladesh, are working in Mali.

On Sept 24 last year, three Bangladeshi peacekeepers were killed in an attack by terrorists on their way back to the camp after a successful encounter with the militants.

The United Nations deployed peacekeepers in Mali, a landlocked country in West Africa, in 2013 after the Malian and French forces launched an operation in response to territorial gains by Islamist rebels.