Islamic extremists suspected in fatal attack on UN peacekeeper base in Mali
At least three people have died - including two peacekeepers and a contractor
A mortar attack on a United Nations base in northern Mali has left at least three people dead, including two peace-keepers and a contractor.
The attack on the base in Kidal also injured 20 people, of which four are in a serious condition.
It is not known who was behind the attack but Islamic extremists are suspected.
There are unconfirmed reports that the two peacekeepers were from neighbouring Guinea.
Mongi Hamdi, the head of the UN mission and the special representative for the secretary-general in Mali, said: "I want to reiterate that these attacks will not impede the determination of the United Nations to support the Malian people and the peace process.
"I express my solidarity and salute the brave men and women serving (the UN mission) throughout the country for their efforts to bringing lasting peace to Mali in these difficult conditions."
Northern Mali has been unstable since it fell to Tuareg separatists and Islamic extremists following a military coup in 2012. Despite the presence of French troops and the UN force, the extremists have continued attacks in the north.
Extremists have also extended attacks to the south this year, including an assault on a Bamako restaurant popular with foreigners in March and an attack earlier this month on a luxury hotel in the capital.
Malian authorities have arrested two men over the attack at the Radisson Blu hotel that killed 20 people. There are competing claims of responsibility by extremist groups for that attack.