A U.N. peacekeeper was killed in a rocket attack Tuesday in Kidal in northern Mali, a Malian military source said.

The attack was carried out by unidentified gunmen, the source told.

According to eyewitnesses, gunmen fired several rockets at the U.N.'s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in Kidal.

There was no comment from MINUSMA.

Last week, nine U.N. peacekeepers were killed in an ambush by militants in the northern city of Gao.

Since early September, U.N. peacekeepers deployed in northern Mali have been the target of repeated attacks by militants.

On September 18, five peacekeepers were killed and three others wounded in a bomb attack in Kidal. The bombing came days after a similar attack – also near Kidal – left four peacekeepers dead and 15 injured.

Tensions erupted in Mali in 2012 following a failed coup and a Tuareg rebellion that ultimately allowed Al-Qaeda-linked militant groups to take over the northern half of country.

In early 2013, former colonial power France sent troops to Mali and – with the help of Chadian and other African forces – flushed Islamist militants from the country's main northern cities.

Anadolu Agency