Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Niger : Top Oppostion figure to be questioned in baby trafficking scandal

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Liberia: President dismisses top officials who ignored call back

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: WHO Says Cases Could Exceed 20,000 (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: WHO Says Cases Could Exceed 20,000

Read more

WEB NEWS

'Ice Bucket Challenge' angers anti-abortion activists

Read more

#TECH 24

Tomorrow's Transport Today

Read more

FOCUS

Mothers and children leaving Honduras at all costs

Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Russian troops have entered Ukraine, says Kiev

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • New Ebola case in Nigeria brings death toll to 1,552

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

Africa

Al Qaeda claims to have killed 19 Mauritanian soldiers

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-09-22

Al Qaeda's North African wing has claimed a "crushing defeat" over Mauritanian security forces after a battle over the weekend in which it says 19 soldiers were killed.

AFP - Al-Qaeda's north African wing claimed to have killed 19 soldiers during a weekend offensive by the Mauritanian army, in a communique published Wednesday by the online Nouakchott News.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said it lost only one of its fighters and accused Mauritanian officials of lying about the death toll "to cover up their crushing defeat."

Mauritanian military sources had reported a death toll of eight soldiers and at least 12 AQIM fighters after a series of strikes against Al-Qaeda positions from Friday to Sunday.

A security source told AFP that six men with suspected ties to AQIM had also been "taken prisoner" by the Mauritanian army.

The north African branch of Osama bin Laden's terror network said it had also injured "dozens of soldiers", captured five vehicles and destroyed two others.

Nouakchott has strongly denied reports from several witnesses that two civilian women were killed and four men injured in the air raid.

The statement issued on the online news agency could not be verified, however Nouakchott News has previously issued uncontested releases from AQIM.

It also said that French soldiers took part in the fighting: "It seems very likely that a small number of French troops were present on the side of the defeated Mauritanian army."

"It is clear that Ould Abdel Aziz (Mauritania's president) has decided to conduct a proxy war on behalf of his French masters, not only in Mauritania but outside their country," said the communique.

"The mujahedeen will respond with firmness and strength to all the assaults of the French agents."

Mauritania's ruling party has called for support from citizens in a "holy war against the terrorists" who "tarnish the image of Muslims."

"Our army is determined to take revenge" after "barbaric attacks" which have plagued the country since 2005, said the president of the ruling Union of the Republic (UPR), Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamed Lemine.

The Mauritanian offensive in neighbouring Mali has not been officially linked to the kidnapping last week of seven hostages in Niger, who are now believed to be held by AQIM in northeastern Mali near the Algerian border.

The seven are five French nationals, a Togolese and a Madagascan.
 

Date created : 2010-09-22

  • TERRORISM

    Mauritanian troops clash with suspected al Qaeda militants

    Read more

  • DIPLOMACY

    French PM declares 'war' on al Qaeda after hostage killed

    Read more

COMMENT(S)