Two UN blue helmets killed in attack in northern Mali

“A pedestrian patrol of MINUSMA was attacked in an ambush around 6:30 am this morning, five kilometres from Aguelhok,” the Mission announced. Strongly condemning “this murderous attack,” MINUSMA, chief Mahamat Saleh Annadif, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Mali, said the Mission immediately deployed a rapid response force at the scene and proceeded to evacuate the wounded and the deceased.”This attack adds to a wave of violence that, over the past few weeks, has targeted the civilian populations, the Malian Armed Forces and the international forces without distinction. The violence is aimed only at undermining […] efforts to bring stability and unity to Mali,” Mr. Annadif said. He went on to reiterate the solidarity and determination of the Mission to support the efforts of the Malian Government, other signatory parties and the people of Mali in the implementation of the Peace Agreement.“MINUSMA is prepared to make all its contribution to the identification of the perpetrators of this attack so that they are promptly brought to justice,” he said.Later in the day in remarks to a meeting on Force generation for MINUSMA, Mr. Guterres paid tribute to the courageous peacekeepers who lost their lives in the ambush, calling it “a dark reminder of the dangers facing MINUSMA on the ground.” According to the UN chief, since the establishment of MINUSMA four years ago, Malians have made significant progress towards peace and reconciliation. However, tragically, this progress has not been translated into peace. Violent extremist groups are actively seeking to spoil and halt the peace process. New armed groups emerged, while some existing groups were divided into different factions. Instability has spread from the north to the center of the country and beyond the borders of Mali in neighboring countries, he explained.Peacekeeping operations, continued Mr. Guterres, must be equipped to meet the requirements of the new operational environments. “Mali is a test for the international community […] we cannot deploy MINUSMA peacekeepers to areas where terrorist groups and transnational criminal networks operate, without providing them with the means to cope with the difficulties they face.”As such, he said MINSUMA must be given the means to support the Malian institutions to gradually exercise their responsibility to restore stability. “We need armored personnel carriers and helicopters for peacekeepers to be able to intervene more effectively. We need the rapid reaction force and its integrated helicopter support team in Mopti to respond quickly to incidents, protect civilians and counter the spread of violent extremist elements.” read more

Police helicopter crashes into pub in Glasgow

first_imgUpdated 00.50am A POLICE HELICOPTER has crashed into a pub in Glasgow causing multiple injuries, police and witnesses said.Police Scotland have confirmed that Eurocopter EC135 T2 with a crew of three consisting of two police officers and a civilian pilot were on board the helicopter.Firefighters, paramedics and police are at the Clutha pub in Stockwell Street but there is “no immediate confirmation of casualties”.They added: “At present Police Scotland is not in a position to confirm any details regarding injuries.”The Scottish police stated that the incident happened at 10.25pm and emergency services responded immediately and remain at the scene. The police said cordons are in place to allow the rescue operation to take place.Alex Salmond the First Minister of Scotland tweeted: “Rescue efforts in full operation. Given an incident of this scale we must all prepare ourselves for the likelihood of fatalities.”A tweet from @Police_Memorial states:(Twitter/@Police_Memorial)Firefighters at the scene of a helicopter crash at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow. (PA Images)Gordon Smart, editor of the the Scottish edition of Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper said:“It was just such a surreal moment. It looked like it was dropping from a great height at a great speed. I’m about 80 percent sure that it was a police helicopter,” he told Sky News.Firefighters at the scene of a helicopter crash at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow. (Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/Press Association Images)“There was no fireball and I did not hear an explosion. It fell like a stone. The engine seemed to be spluttering.”A woman who was in the bar at the time, Grace McKeen, told Sky News they didn’t hear any noise, but they did hear a “whoosh” sound. She said it looked like the roof was “gradually” and slowly caving in and the band, who were playing in the pub, stopped playing their music.She said that there was no explosion, but just a “cloud of dust”. She said they didn’t know that a helicopter had hit the roof until someone had told them.McKeen said she didn’t see anyone with any serious injuries and people seemed to be conscious.It’s believed there were a lot of people in the bar due to the band playing there this evening.The Facebook page of the band, that are believed to have been playing in the bar have updated their Facebook page stating that the band members are “OK”. Just below the post, is the band’s post advertising their gig in the Clutha pub.Jim Murphy, a Labour party member of parliament and spokesman for defence, told the BBC he was driving through the area “just a few seconds after what seems like a helicopter has crashed into a pub”.Murphy said he had seen “multiple injuries”.“It’s a well established Glasgow pub. It’s a horrible horrible scene, but well done to the folk who were here. Everyone formed a chain of people from inside the pub to outside, and the fire brigade and everyone were here very quickly.”Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was “awful news”.The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said they were on their way to a “building explosion” in Glasgow’s Clyde Street.However, Sky News is reporting that no fire has broken out at the scene of the crash and at least 15 fire fighters are at the scene.This Vine uploaded by NotaRich gives a picture of the scene in Glasgow.Prime Minister David Cameron has tweeted:Additional reporting  AFP, 2013last_img read more