A rocket and car bomb attack left one UN peacekeeper dead, a dozen wounded and another dozen French soldiers hurt at Timbuktu’s airport area, Mali’s security ministry said Saturday.

“A terrorist attack targeted” France’s Barkhan camp as well as UN troops stationed outside the northern Mali city Saturday afternoon, the ministry said on Facebook.

A dozen rockets were fired at the two camps with gunmen dressed as UN blue helmets riding two vehicles rigged with bombs.

“One of the vehicles exploded, while the second bearing the UN sign was halted,” the statement said.

The ministry said the latest casualty toll was one UN soldier dead, a dozen wounded, five of them seriously and a dozen French soldiers also hurt.

“The fighting ended towards 18h30. The sector is being searched. The situation is under control,” it added.

A foreign security source told AFP that the assault was “unprecedented” in Timbuktu.

The United Nations had earlier released the same toll for its troops.

In a tweet, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali announ

The United Nations has nearly 13 000 troops and police in Mali, many of whom are deployed in the country’s lawless north.

Seven UN peacekeepers have been killed in attacks in Mali this year alone, serving in a mission that has been described as the UN’s most dangerous.