The United Nations and the Security Council today condemned the attacks against camps of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, which resulted in the deaths of one UN peacekeeper, a Malian soldier and a member of the Malian gendarmerie, along with six Malian contractors. “The Secretary-General stresses that attacks targeting United Nations peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law,” a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement. Mr. Guterres commended the efforts of Mali and the other countries of the Group of Five for the Sahel – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger – for their efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism, and to promote peace and development in the region. Earlier in the day, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) confirmed the attacks, by armed assailants. “Today, around 5:30 am, the MINUSMA camps in Douenza, Mopti region, have been the target of an attack coordinated by unidentified gunmen,” the UN Mission said in a statement in French. “A first group of assailants fired at a MINUSMA camp from an adjacent hill. In reaction, the Malian armed forces, established in the vicinity of the camp, retaliated. A second group walking on foot to the other MINUSMA camp opened fire. The peacekeepers have responded and two assailants have been killed,” the UN Mission added. It noted that MINUSMA condemned in the strongest terms “this revolting terrorist attack.” A MINUSMA camp in the city of Timbuktu was also attacked on Monday afternoon by unidentified armed men. The Mission responded immediately by deploying a rapid reaction force to secure the site as well as attack helicopters to track down potential attackers.The Mission reiterated its determination to continue to fulfill its responsibilities “in support of Mali and its people in order to contribute to the achievement of lasting peace and stability.” In a separate statement, the UN Security Council extended its condolences and sympathy to the relatives of the victims, and urged the Government to quickly investigate the attacks and bring those responsible to justice. The Council reiterated that any terrorist acts are “criminal and unjustifiable” irrespective of their motivation.