BAMAKO - Two Dutch United Nations peacekeepers were killed on Tuesday when their helicopter crashed in northern Mali, airport and UN sources said.

The helicopter, from the UN’s MINUSMA mission, crashed about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Gao, a source from the city’s airport told AFP, adding that two people were injured and subsequently died.

‘One of our aircraft crashed. Two occupants of the helicopter were killed,’ a MINUSMA source confirmed, adding that they were Dutch.

The Dutch defence ministry said it had no knowledge of the accident.

MINUSMA has some 11,000 personnel on the ground in Mali, around 670 of whom come from the Netherlands. With more than 40 peacekeepers killed since its inception in 2013, MINUSMA is considered the most dangerous UN mission in the world, particularly for the Chadian contingent, which has sustained a large proportion of the casualties.

 Northern Mali’s Tuareg-led rebels said on Tuesday they have agreed to another round of talks with mediators and the government after the rebel coalition said it was not ready to sign a preliminary U.N.-brokered deal. ‘We agreed that there should be another meeting with the mediators and Mali government,’ Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, a spokesman for MNLA, said by telephone from Kidal. He said the date and place of the meeting was to be decided. U.N. and government officials were not immediately available for comment. Diplomats visited Kidal, a rebel stronghold, on Tuesday for discussions aimed at salvaging an agreement already initialled by the government in Bamako.