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Two Peacekeepers Killed by Colleague in Northern Mali

Two U.N. peacekeepers were shot dead and a third slightly wounded by one of their colleagues in northern Mali, the U.N. mission said on Sunday, less than three weeks after a similar incident.

"Yesterday (Saturday) at around 1900 GMT a tragic incident occurred in the MINUSMA camp at Tessalit, in the Kidal region in which a peacekeeper fired on three of his colleagues," a statement from the MINUSMA mission said, without giving the nationalities of the peacekeepers.

The suspect had been arrested and an investigation into the shooting was under way, the statement added.

Last month a soldier in the Chadian contingent of the force killed his own commander and an army doctor following weeks of tensions over living conditions.

The soldier had started an "insurrection" against the contingent's top brass the previous evening before shooting the two men dead on February 25.

The 2,000 Chadian soldiers of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) -- MINUSMA's predecessor -- were at the forefront of a French-led military intervention launched in January 2013 to oust Islamist rebels who had taken over vast stretches of the north in the chaos following a coup.

Dozens of Chadian troops have deserted their posts in a dispute over pay and conditions in recent years, complaining that they hadn't received a salary in months.

Twenty-nine members of MINUSMA were killed last year and more than 80 were injured, making it the most deadly active mission for the United Nations.

Source: Agence France Presse


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