UN peacekeeping troops seize hundreds of suspected Islamic State weapons and ammunition

British troops part of the UN peacekeeping mission seized suspected Islamic State weapons including AK47 rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in Mali.

The weapons were retrieved from a village close to the border with Niger, where the Ministry of Defence said locals were being threatened.

Soldiers also found camouflage clothing, radios, mobile phones and hundreds of litres of fuel. Suspected IS members had earlier fled by swimming across a river.

The operation was carried out during a sandstorm when the temperatures hit 50°C.

The foreign troops conduct long-range reconnaissance patrols to protect the local population from a rising tide of violent Islamist extremism.

The MoD said it was the first targeted “cordon and search” operation carried out in this way by UN forces in Mali.

The UN Mission in Mali is made up of more than 14,000 peacekeepers from 56 different countries.

It has been described as the most dangerous peacekeeping mission in the world. Almost 250 UN soldiers have lost their lives there since 2013.