Four U.N. peacekeepers killed in roadside explosion in Mali

NIAMEY (Reuters) - Four U.N. peacekeepers were killed and four others seriously wounded on Wednesday when the vehicle they were in hit a mine in central Mali, the West African nation’s U.N. mission said.

The troops were driving on a road linking the towns of Boni and Douentza in the Mopti region, where six Malian soldiers were killed in a similar incident a day earlier, the mission (MINUSMA) said in a statement.

It said the death toll was provisional and could rise further. It declined to immediately give the nationalities of the victims.

The statement said MINUSMA was reinforcing its security presence in central Mali, which has seen a surge in violence by Islamist militants, in cooperation with the country’s army as well as regional and international forces.

“These acts demonstrate (the militants’) disarray and in no way affect MINUSMA’s determination to carry out its mandate,” said Mahamat Saleh Annadif, who heads the U.N. mission.

Reporting by Souleymane Ag Anara; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Aaron Ross and Alison Williams