Reuters International

BAMAKO (Reuters) - Attacks on United Nations sites in northern Mali killed four people, including one peacekeeper, and wounded more than a dozen, the U.N. mission said on Wednesday.

Mali's peacekeeping mission was started in April 2013, after Tuareg separatists and Islamic extremists began a rebellion in the desert north. The government and separatists signed a peace accord last year, but there is still periodic violence.

One peacekeeper was killed and three seriously wounded by rockets or mortars fired at the U.N. peacekeeping mission -- known as MINUSMA -- in Gao late on Tuesday. About 10 civilians were also injured in the attack, MINUSMA said.

In a later assault carried out with light arms on the U.N. antimining operation (UNMAS) in a different neighbourhood of Gao, two private Malian security guards and an international expert were killed, MINUSMA said.

The nationalities of the peacekeepers, MINUSMA personnel or the international experts were not immediately clear.

MINUSMA head Mahamat Saleh Annadif called on the Malian government and the local authorities to make sure that those responsible were brought to justice.

The double assault occurred just days after five U.N. peacekeepers were killed and one injured in an ambush on a convoy in central Mali.

Although French forces seized control of key towns following the 2013 uprising, Islamist militants remain active, claiming responsibility for attacks beyond Mali's borders.

(Reporting by Adama Diarra; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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 Reuters International