Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Air France pilots reject CEO's offer to halt expansion of low-cost carrier

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Climate change: The heat is on

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Frenchman kidnapped in Algeria: 'IS'-linked jihadists claim abduction of 55-year-old tourist

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The Sarkozy soap opera

Read more

DEBATE

What's the deal with Turkey? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

What's the deal with Turkey?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Cambodian garment workers demand minimum wage

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France under threat

Read more

ENCORE!

Weekly Music Show: Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's new album

Read more

Africa

French embassy attacker claims links to al Qaeda

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2011-01-06

A man arrested Wednesday after exploding a gas cylinder at the French embassy in the Malian capital Bamako claims to be a member of al Qaeda's North African branch with a personal "hatred" of France. Two people were slightly injured in the attack.

A Tunisian man who claimed to be an Al-Qaeda member exploded a gas cylinder in front of the French embassy in Mali's capital Bamako on Wednesday, a police source said.
              
"We are on the Al-Qaeda track," the source said. "The Tunisian we have arrested told us he belongs to Al-Qaeda."
              
Police said the man belonged to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI), which experts believe has bases spread across Algeria, Mauritania and Mali.
              
Two Malians were slightly wounded by the blast.

A source close to the investigation said the man had proclaimed a personal "hatred" for France.

"He is a young man of 25 years, a Tunisian national. He has a personal hatred for France," the source told AFP.
              
The source said the man came from "a Katiba", a camp of Islamist fighters in the Sahara, but he did not seem to be an important member of the organisation.
              
The French foreign ministry confirmed the blast, but spoke of only one person being wounded.
              
The ministry's deputy spokesperson Christine Fages said: "There was an explosion that was not accidental in front of the French embassy which very slightly wounded one person of Malian nationality among its staff.
              
"An inquiry is under way," she added, refusing to make any further comment when asked if the French embassy had been specifically targeted and if the blast might be linked with the detention of French hostages in northeast Mali by the north African branch of Al-Qaeda.
              
AQMI is holding in the Sahara five French nationals, a Togolese and a Malagasy who were kidnapped in September at Arlit, a strategic mining site of French nuclear giant Areva in north Niger.
              
In August 2009 a young man blew himself up in Nouakchott, capital of neighbouring Mauritania, near the French embassy lightly injuring two French gendarmes and a Mauritanian woman. AQMI claimed the attack carried out by a Mauritanian suicide bomber.
              
AQMI later again designated France as a target after a Franco-Mauritanian operation last July 22 against an Al-Qaeda base in Mali aimed at freeing a French hostage, Michel Germaneau, 78. But the operation failed and AQMI later announced it had killed the hostage.
              
In Bamako the French high school announced late Wednesday that it would be closed on Thursday.

 

Date created : 2011-01-06

  • TERRORISM

    ‘Withdraw your forces,’ al Qaeda warns France

    Read more

  • MALI

    French hostages held by al Qaeda are 'alive' in Mali

    Read more

  • TERRORISM

    Al Qaeda branch demands repeal of French 'burqa ban'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)