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U.N. Peacekeeping Mission in Mali Draws to Close

The mission said it had brought forward its withdrawal from a base in the north of the country due to deteriorating security conditions. During the operation, three of its soldiers were wounded when they came under fire, the force added a few hours later. The MINUSMA force’s departure from Ber comes after the Malian army said Saturday that six soldiers died and 24 fighters from “armed terrorist groups” were killed in a skirmish in the area Friday. Former rebels from the Tuareg ethnic group also said the army and the Russian mercenary group Wagner had attacked their forces Friday in Ber. For several days now, the Ber area has been the scene of tensions between the army and the Russian Wagner paramilitary group against the CMA, an alliance of Tuareg-dominated groups seeking autonomy or independence from the Malian state and which controls vast areas of the north.