, UNITED NATIONS, October 10-UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon said Friday he was “outraged” by an attack that killed five Chadian peacekeepers in Mali and called for an immediate halt to such incidents.
The five soldiers died and three others were injured Thursday when their truck was hit by an explosive device, Ban’s spokesman said in a statement.
“The Secretary General is outraged by the attack,” the spokesman said.
“These continued assaults against the United Nations must cease immediately.”
The latest attack has cast a shadow over peace talks in the Algerian capital between the Mali government and six armed rebel groups aimed at clinching a lasting peace deal in the deeply divided West African nation.
“The Secretary General calls on the armed groups meeting in Algiers to take immediate action on their declaration to collaborate with the (UN’s Mali mission) in the prevention of these cowardly attacks,” the statement said.
Thursday’s attack brings the total number of peacekeepers killed in blasts in Mali to 21, the UN said. Another 84 have been wounded since the beginning of the Mali stabilization mission that launched on July 1, 2013, it added.
The Security Council is also expected to condemn the attack when it meets on Friday.
The Malian army has confirmed the deaths, condemning “a new provocation by terrorists” which it said had taken place as a ceremony in memory of soldiers killed by mines was underway in Aguelhok, 150 kilometers (90 miles) south of the Algerian border in the restive Kidal region.