In north-eastern Mali, armed men attacked a group UN peacekeepers on Friday morning and killed nine soldiers from Niger.

The United Nations has described the incident as the largest-scale assault on its troops since the MINUSMA peacekeeping mission was deployed to Mali just over one year ago.

Some reports blamed the Islamist group MUJAO for the violence.

MINUSMA's deputy spokesman Olivier Salgado told RFI's Thomas Hubert the attack happened as forty peacekeepers drove on one of the main roads near the border with Niger.

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