Tags: AF | Mali | G5 | Attack

Al-Qaida Affiliate in Mali Says it Attacked Military Base

Sunday, 01 July 2018 10:38 AM

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — An al-Qaida affiliate in Mali says it carried out a suicide attack on the military headquarters of the five-nation counterterror force which killed three people in the central part of this West African country.

According to the SITE intelligence group which monitors extremist statements, the Mali-based branch of al-Qaida known by its acronym JNIM has issued a statement taking responsibility for the attack on the multination military base in Sevare on Friday.

The attack started Friday with the detonation of a car packed with explosives at the entrance to the military base and was followed by a gun battle that killed two soldiers and a civilian. Two attackers were also killed and two others were taken into custody.

The brazen attack highlights the extremist threat in West Africa that made headlines in October with the killing of four U.S. service members in an ambush in neighboring Niger.

This is the first time the G5 Sahel headquarters has been targeted. The assault comes shortly before French President Emmanuel Macron and African leaders meet at an African Union summit starting Sunday in Mauritania, with the regional extremist threat on the agenda.

A number of extremist groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group are active in Mali, often targeting local security forces and the world's deadliest active U.N. peacekeeping mission. They also have staged high-profile attacks in the capitals of Mali and Burkina Faso, including simultaneous assaults on the French Embassy and army headquarters in Burkina Faso's capital in March.

The 5,000-strong G5 Sahel force launched last year and includes Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger and Mauritania. It has received millions of dollars in backing from the United States, European Union, Saudi Arabia and others.

The new force joins multiple counterterror efforts in the region including France's largest overseas military operation, Barkhane.

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An al-Qaida affiliate in Mali says it carried out a suicide attack on the military headquarters of the five-nation counterterror force which killed three people in the central part of this West African country.According to the SITE intelligence group which monitors...
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Sunday, 01 July 2018 10:38 AM
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