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2 U.N. soldiers killed in Mali car bomb blast

By Pierre Meilhan, CNN
updated 4:06 AM EST, Sun December 15, 2013
  • NEW: Two U.N. soldiers from Senegal are killed in a car bomb blast in Mali
  • Several Malian troops were injured in the explosion in Kidal, northern Mali
  • The device detonated as they were securing a bank building, U.N. mission said
  • "We cannot accept these barbaric acts," says U.N. special representative for Mali

(CNN) -- Two U.N. soldiers from Senegal were killed and several Malian troops were injured in a car bomb attack Saturday morning in the town of Kidal, northern Mali, the United Nations' mission in Mali said.

The troops were securing a bank building in the center of Kidal when the explosion took place.

The most severely injured were evacuated to the city of Gao, the U.N. mission, MINUSMA, said.

The powerful blast caused the bank to collapse and damaged several buildings in the area, according to the United Nations.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and the U.N. Special Representative for Mali, Albert Koenders, strongly condemned the attack.

"We cannot accept these barbaric acts," Koenders said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.

"This attack will not deter our determination and our engagement to pursue our mission to re-establish peace and security in Mali," Koenders said.

Before the French military intervention earlier this year, Kidal was one of the strongholds of the Tuareg rebels and Islamist militants whose uprising last year plunged Mali into chaos after a military-led coup.

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