An affiliate of the terrorist group, which was once led by Osama bin Laden, said the attack in northern Mali was in retaliation for the country's cooperation with France.
The bombers forced their way into the camp, running over several people before blowing up their vehicle just as 600 soldiers were assembling, said a UN spokeswoman.
There were no reports of injuries in the peacekeeping force, but the camp was home to government soldiers and rival armed groups that jointly patrol the northern desert under a UN-brokered peace deal.
The peace deal is aimed at easing local tensions so the Malian government can focus its efforts on combating Islamic militants operating in the region.
Al-Qaeda affiliates have claimed responsibility for a deadly suicide attack in Mali
These are practices that are imported here to turn us away from the path of peace
Mali Defence Minister Abdoulaye Idriss Maiga
In a statement from the terrorist organisation, the group said the attack was carried out by its close ally al-Mourabitoun.
It named the attacker as Abdul Hadi al-Fulani, despite state media earlier suggesting there were at leave five bombers participating in the attack.
The statement read: “We do not permit the establishment of barracks and bases or the convening of patrols and convoys belonging to French occupiers, to wage war against the mujahideen.”
The attack claimed up to 60 lives
French forces intervened in Mali in 2013 to drive back the rise of Islamist groups that seized control of the desert a year earlier and maintains a presence in the operation attempting to stamp out insurgencies.
State media claimed Wednesday’s death toll was at 60 and said another 115 were wounded, it is unclear if the figure includes the suicide attackers who are reported to have carried out the bombing.
Defence Minister Abdoulaye Idriss Maiga said: “We are not used to this kind of violence.
"These are practices that are imported here to turn us away from the path of peace.”
The UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) have triggered emergency procedure and have dispatched two infantry battalions and helicopter teams to the camp to guard against another attack.
TERRORISM: Statistics & Facts
Wed, January 11, 2017
Terrorism: A devastating and growing issue worldwide.
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Between 2006 and 2013, terrorism caused around 130,000 fatalities worldwide.
Despite the peacekeepers’ presence, Islamist militants still conduct frequent attacks in Mali and use it as a base to launch operations in neighbouring countries.
French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux described the blast as a “highly symbolic attack” in an area visited only days ago by President Francois Hollande.
The 13,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission in the African country has the highest rate of any UN mission in the world, having been hit by many terror attacks.