A Defence Forces spokesman said no Irish soldiers were involved in a fatal attack on United Nations peacekeepers in Mali earlier today.

Seven UN peacekeepers were killed when a logistical convoy struck an explosive device in central Mali, the UN mission MINUSMA said.

"The initial toll is seven dead and three seriously injured," it said on Twitter, without detailing the nationality of the casualties.

The incident happened in the Bandiagara area in the Mopti region, as the convoy was heading to Sevare from Douentza.

There are 14 members of Ireland's Army Ranger Wing deployed with MINUSMA as part of an Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance unit.

The Defence Forces have also deployed 20 personnel to a European Union Mission in Mali, which provides specialist training to the country's armed forces.

Yesterday, a MINUSMA soldier died from injuries inflicted by a roadside bomb near the northern town of Tessalet on 22 November.

He had been rushed for treatment to the Senegalese capital of Dakar with two other injured troops.

UN peacekeepers in the Mopti region (File pic)

Mali is the epicentre of a jihadist insurgency that began in the north of the country in 2012 and spread three years later to neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.

Thousands of people across the region have died, and around two million have been displaced.

Attacks have been carried out by militants affiliated to Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State group, but many civilian casualties have also been caused by so-called self-defence forces.

MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali) began its deployment to the troubled Sahel state in 2013.

It has 16,500 personnel, including 10,700 troops, according to its website.

The UN says the mission has suffered the most fatalities of any of its peacekeeping operations in the world, with hostile acts causing 146 deaths as of 31 October.

Additional reporting AFP