Killings in Mali, Iraq condemned

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Latvia's foreign Ministry on Saturday sent condolences to both Nigeria and the United Kingdom following a bloody 24 hours of extremist violence in two of the world's terror hotspots.

"Latvia strongly condemns the barbaric killing of nine UN peacekeepers on 3 October in the northeast of Mali, near the town of Menaka. Those guilty of this appalling incident must not go unpunished. The nine peacekeepers killed, all of whom were from the Nigerian contingent, served with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). This is the worst ever attack on the mission's personnell since its deployment. No group has assumed responsibility for the attack so far," the Ministry said. 

Latvia has been participating in the EU Training Mission in Mali  (EUTM Mali) since April 2013. In March 2014, Latvia increased its contribution to the mission from two to seven troops. Latvian soldiers serve as part of the joint Nordic Baltic Training Team, which provides training for an infantry company fire suppport unit in the Armed Forces of Mali. 

In another statement the Ministry said it "categorically condemns terrorism and any deliberate violence against civilians" following the murder in Iraq of British aid worker Alan Henning by Islamic State terrorists. 

"Latvia has expressed its deepest condolences to the families of British humanitarian worker," the Ministry said.

"Latvia supports the United States and other international partners in efforts to stabilize the security situation in Iraq. In order to demonstrate the solidarity of the joint implementation of the stabilization efforts in Iraq, Latvia intends to make contributions to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees fund of 50,000 euros."

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