World Bulletin / News Desk
Niger on Sunday declared a three-day mourning period over the killing of nine peacekeepers in neighboring Mali two days earlier.
The Nigerien government said in a statement that flags will be flown at half-mast during the mourning period.
Nine Nigerien troops deployed under the U.N. peacekeeping mission MINUSMA were killed Friday in an attack by gunmen in the southern Malian city of Gao.
The Nigerien government vowed to "stand by the brotherly Malian people" despite the attack.
Since early September, U.N. peacekeepers deployed in northern Mali have been the target of repeated attacks by militants.
On September 18, five peacekeepers were killed and three others wounded in a bomb attack in the northern city of Kidal. The bombing came days after a similar attack – also near Kidal – left four peacekeepers dead and 15 injured.
Tensions erupted in Mali in 2012 following a failed coup and a Tuareg rebellion that ultimately allowed Al-Qaeda-linked militant groups to take over the northern half of country.
In early 2013, former colonial power France sent troops to Mali and – with the help of Chadian and other African forces – flushed militants from the country's main northern cities.Last Mod: 05 Ekim 2014, 16:55