23rd May 2023 15:03:26 Hours
Four Sri Lankan Army soldiers serving the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA (UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali) sustained minor injuries following detonation of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Mali on Sunday (21) while Sri Lankan peacekeepers were in an armored vehicle providing security for a logistics convoy.
The explosion occurred about 15 km northwest of their camp in Tessalit in the Kidal region of Mali, a landlocked country marred by tribal riots. Reports said the injuries were not serious and they were undergoing medical treatment.
Colonel J.M.D.N.C Jayamaha, the Commanding Officer of the Sri Lankan contingent in the MINUSMA said that the blast occurred when Sri Lankan troops on board an armoured vehicle was providing security to a convoy along the road.
Meanwhile, Stephane Dujarric, the Chief Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was quoted saying that an immediate search of the surrounding area that followed discovered a second IED which was successfully detonated. He had also gone on record saying that the mission earlier in the day also had detonated another IED discovered some 32 km northwest of the Tessalit camp.
The UN staff reported earlier this year that the MINUSMA mission was the most deadly of any world body assignment for the ninth year with 14 personnel killed in 2022.