Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Calais migrants crisis: risking death for a better life

Read more

THE DEBATE

Europe’s Blame Game: finger pointing continues as Calais migrant crisis worsens (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Europe’s Blame Game: finger pointing continues as Calais migrant crisis worsens (part 1)

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Gold prices: no longer a safe haven?

Read more

FOCUS

Secular bloggers live in fear after spate of killings

Read more

ENCORE!

The art of resistance, from Gaza to Lebanon via Timbuktu

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Close down Calais until the French get a grip'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Europe's new 'Iron Curtain'

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US gun laws criticised after fresh shootings

Read more

Africa

Islamists claim responsibility for killing French soldier in Mali

© Philippe Desmazes, AFP | A French armoured vehicle near the Malian town Bourem on November 1, 2013

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2014-07-17

A spokesman for the Islamist militant group al-Mourabitoun, which is led by veteran jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar, claimed responsibility on Thursday for a suicide bombing earlier this week that killed a French soldier in northern Mali.

In a video posted on the Internet, the spokesman who identified himself as Abu Assem Al-Muhajir said that the attack in the region of Al Moustarat, north of Gao, was “a response to French claims that they had annihilated the Mujahideen”.

Al-Mourabitoun was formed last year from the fusion of two Islamist groups operating in northern Mali: the Mulathameen brigade, led by the one-eyed Belmokhtar, and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA).

It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the claim, which came as French President François Hollande began a visit to West Africa that will take him to Ivory Coast, Niger and Chad.

French Defence Minister Jean Yves Le Drian was due to visit Gao on Thursday as France prepares to reorganise its 1,700 troops in Mali into a regional force to counter terrorism in the Sahara and the arid Sahel region to its south.

It was the ninth death of a French soldier since Paris intervened in its former colony in January 2013 to break the grip of armed Islamist groups on the country’s remote desert, amid fears they could use the enclave to attack neighbouring countries and Western targets.

France’s defence ministry said on Tuesday that seven soldiers taking part in a reconnaissance mission were injured in the attack, three of them seriously, including Foreign Legion soldier Dejvid Nikolic, who later died of his injuries.

The al-Mourabitoun spokesman said several suicide attackers had taken part in the strike on the French armoured convoy.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-07-17

  • MALI

    Mali rebels, government to start peace talks in Algiers

    Read more

  • FRANCE - MALI

    French soldier killed in suicide attack in northern Mali

    Read more

  • FRANCE – MALI

    French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

COMMENT(S)