Tags: Mali | unrest | France

French Investigators Aid Mali Terror Probe

Monday, 09 Mar 2015 06:58 AM

Counterterrorism investigators arrived from Paris overnight to aid Mali's hunt for the killers of five people, including a French national, in a jihadist attack at a nightclub, airport and security sources said Monday.

"On Sunday night, the prosecutor of the anti-terrorist department of Paris and 10 French police arrived in Bamako from Paris to participate in the investigation into Saturday's killings," an airport source told AFP.

A security source confirmed the information, saying: "They will work on Saturday's incident hand-in-hand with their Malian colleagues."

Police patrols have been stepped up in Bamako since a masked gunman burst into La Terrasse, a popular venue among expatriates, spraying automatic gunfire and throwing grenades. The attacker and a suspected accomplice remain at large.

Al-Murabitoun, a jihadist group run by leading Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar, has claimed responsibility for the massacre, which left a Frenchman, a Belgian and three Malians dead.

It said in an audio recording carried by Mauritanian news agency Al-Akbar the operation was carried out "to avenge our prophet against the unbelieving West which has insulted and mocked him."

French President Francois Hollande has led the international outcry, condemning the "cowardly attack" and vowing to meet Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to offer Paris's help to its former colony.

The attack was the first to target Westerners in Bamako, although Mali's vast desert north is riven by ethnic rivalries and an Islamist insurgency, and has seen numerous militant attacks on security forces.

Jihadists linked to al-Qaida controlled an area of desert the size of Texas for more than nine months until a French-led military intervention in 2013 that partly drove them from the region.

© AFP 2017

   
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Counterterrorism investigators arrived from Paris overnight to aid Mali's hunt for the killers of five people, including a French national, in a jihadist attack at a nightclub, airport and security sources said Monday.
Mali, unrest, France
273
2015-58-09
Monday, 09 Mar 2015 06:58 AM
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