BAMAKO - Four United Nations peacekeepers died and several others were wounded when suspected Islamists attacked their base in Mali’s restive north, as three Malian soldiers perished in an ambush in the same region, security sources said.
The latest attacks highlighted the vulnerability of the sprawling arid north, where UN peacekeepers and Malian soldiers are struggling in their fight against jihadists who had seized vast swathes of territory in 2012.
A camp of the UN mission in Mali , or MINUSMA, was attacked early Friday in the strategic town of Kidal in the northeast, a UN source said. Two Guinean soldiers died on the spot. Two other soldiers, among seven seriously wounded, died later of their injuries, the Guinean source said.
‘The terrorists attacked with the help of rockets,’ the UN source said. The Malian government said the attack also involved a booby-trapped van. The raid coincided with a visit to the region by the new chief of MINUSMA, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, who began touring the north on Monday.
Annadif said the raid was an ‘odious and irresponsible act’ which highlighted the ‘confusion in the ranks of the enemies of peace.’ Annadif was in Kidal a week after a peace pact eased tensions in the town, where the arrival early in February of members of a pro-government group had upset the former rebels in the Coordination of Movements of the Azawad.


Canadian son gets life for killing father (11b)
OTTAWA (AFP): The scion of a wealthy Canadian beer family was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for murdering his father, following a long and sensational trial in New Brunswick province.
But he may seek parole after 10 years behind bars. Dennis Oland, 47, was found guilty in December of second-degree murder against his father, Richard Oland, who was part of the locally prominent family that owns Moosehead Breweries.
The 69-year-old father was found dead in a pool of blood in his office on July 7, 2011. His body bore numerous stab and blunt-force wounds to the head, neck and hands. Police said his son was the last person to see him alive.
Dennis Oland pleaded not guilty at trial and continues to deny involvement in the killing. In arguing its case, the prosecution pointed to the younger Oland’s financial problems, suggesting that he had grown violent when his father refused a demand for money. It argued that a brown jacket belonging to Dennis Oland bore small blood splatters and traces of DNA that experts said almost surely came from his father. Moosehead is Canada’s oldest independent brewery, based in Saint John.