BAMAKO, Mali (AA) - A Malian militant group Friday claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on a UN peacekeeping convoy in northern Mali that left five people dead and injured many others, local media reported.
Ansar Dine, an armed group based in the northern part of the country, led by Iyad Ag Ghaly, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement.
The group is known for carrying out attacks on Malian military and other groups opposed to it in the name of implementing Sharia law in Mali.
The deadly attack on the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission’s convoy in Kidal had left five UN Chadian peacekeepers dead and injured several others.
The attack took place 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) north of Aguelhok in Kidal region.
The UN mission in Mali, also known as MINUSMA, condemned the attack in a statement in Thursday.
Koen Davidse, interim head of the UN mission, "strongly condemned this despicable attack on peacekeepers in Mali,” the statement said.
Since the beginning of the year, gunmen have attacked UN peacekeeping mission in Mali’s Kidal region over a dozen times, killing 12 staff.
Violence started in Mali in 2012 when armed groups launched attacks against government forces for the independence of the Azawad region in the northern part of the country.
The Malian government and some Tuareg rebel groups signed a peace agreement in June 2015.
Despite the presence of UN and French forces, militant groups have been repositioning themselves in the northern part of the country and threatening the ongoing peace process.
The MINUSMA was deployed in Mali in July 2013; it has over 11,700 peacekeepers in the West African state.