Funeral held for nine Niger peacekeepers killed in Mali09 october 2014, 16:41
Nine UN peacekeepers killed last week in Mali were buried Wednesday in the Niger capital Niamey with President Mahamadou Issoufou in attendance along with Malian and UN officials, AFP reports.
"Your tragic death afflicts the Nigerien people and their leaders," Defence Minister Karidjo Mahamadou said before the row of coffins draped in the light-blue UN flag.
Niger is determined "to continue to work within international and regional organisations for the security of people and their property," he added.
Suspected Islamists on motorbikes killed the peacekeepers with the MINUSMA mission on Friday near the northeastern Malian city of Gao in the deadliest ever attack on the mission.
The ambush was claimed by the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), an Al-Qaeda-linked militia behind numerous attacks in the restive west African nation.
The ambush brought to 30 the number of deaths in the mission since its deployment in July last year.
A Senegalese peacekeeper was killed Tuesday as a UN camp in northern Mali came under rocket fire in an attack blamed on a jihadist leader driven from the country by French troops.
The strike came just as the UN vowed to bolster defences for its troops in Mali after suffering the attack on Friday.
The Malian government is in negotiations with six armed groups to bring peace to northern Mali.