Mali: At least eight United Nations peacekeepers have been killed and several others wounded in an attack at a camp in Aguelhocin northern Mali’s Kidal region on Sunday. Also Read - 'Dozens' killed in Mali clashes before helicopter crash

As per reports, an official with the United Nations mission in Mali said that jihadists linked to al-Qaida killed six peacekeepers and injured 19 others in the attack. Residents confirmed the assault, saying that attackers came on motorcycles and cars. The UN official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the press on the matter. Also Read - Two crew members aboard German UN helicopter that crashed in Mali

Mali is under threat from a number of armed groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) groups. The UN has deployed about 12,000 troops and police in its MINUSMA peacekeeping mission in Mali, which ranks as the most dangerous country for the peacekeepers. Also Read - Four Mali civilians killed in suspected jihadist attack

French forces intervened in Mali in 2013 to drive back fighters who had hijacked a Tuareg uprising a year earlier, and some 4,000 French troops remain there. The U.N. Security Council then deployed peacekeepers, which have been targets of a concerted guerrilla campaign.

A peace deal between the government and armed groups was signed in 2015, but its implementation has been slow, while attacks continue in central and northern parts of the country. Earlier this month, both France and the United States criticised the authorities in Mali for their failure to stem the worsening violence.