Ambush kills soldier in Mali; 2nd UN peacekeeper dies

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) " A Malian soldier was killed and two others wounded in an ambush near Timbuktu, an army spokesman said Tuesday, as the United Nations peacekeeping mission said a second peacekeeper had died after an attack in another part of the country's north.

Armed men ambushed the convoy of a state official from Goundam who was wounded in the attack about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Timbuktu, spokesman Col. Souleymane Maiga said.

Meanwhile, a second U.N. peacekeeper died overnight from attacks Monday that targeted a U.N. camp in Aguelhok in the northern Kidal region, spokesman Olivier Salgado said Tuesday.

Two vehicles carrying soldiers from Chad hit land mines in the attacks, injuring several other soldiers.

Extremist group Ansar Dine, which has ties to al-Qaida's North Africa branch, claimed responsibility through Twitter for firing mortar shells and detonating a land mine on U.N. forces in Aguelhok, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadists' activity online.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attacks.

Islamic extremists took control of northern Mali in 2012, prompting a French-led intervention that drove them from stronghold cities and towns in 2013.

But north and central Mali remain unstable, and attacks by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and allied groups against peacekeepers and security forces are common.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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