HUFFINGTON POST

At Least Six UN Peacekeepers Wounded By Roadside Bomb In Mali

A Spanish soldier of the detachment of the Operation Barkhane stands guard at a French base outside the northern Malian city
A Spanish soldier of the detachment of the Operation Barkhane stands guard at a French base outside the northern Malian city of Gao on January 2, 2015. The French military in 2013 routed radical Islamist groups from large swathes of northern Mali. Then in August 2014, the Malian operation gave way to a wider, regional counter-terrorism drive dubbed Operation Barkhane. A total of 3,000 troops are deployed across Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger to track and combat Islamist militants, backed by fighter aircraft, helicopters and drones. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

BAMAKO, Jan 4 (Reuters) - At least six United Nations peacekeepers were wounded when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in northern Mali on Sunday, the U.N. mission in Mali said.

Northern Mali remains highly volatile two years after France led a U.N.-backed intervention to drive al Qaeda-linked militants from towns they seized in 2012.

Militants have since mounted a comeback targeting the Malian army and U.N. troops deployed there. Peace talks have failed to deliver improvements on the ground.

The vehicle transporting troops of the Niger contingent, part of the U.N. mission in Mali known as MINUSMA, was traveling on the road between Asongo and Menaka in the Gao region.

The soldiers who were wounded, three seriously, will be evacuated to the city of Gao for appropriate treatment, the U.N. mission said in the statement.

The mayor of a town in northern Mali died on Saturday from wounds sustained in an ambush that killed his son. (Reporting by Adama Diarra; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)