Mauritanian troops attack AQIM camp in Mali


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Al Jazeera reports on a Mauritanian military assault on an al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb camp in a forest in western Mali. Mauritanian officials are claiming they routed an AQIM force based at the camp after “fierce” fighting.

The Mauritanian army has launched an attack on an al-Qaeda training camp in neighbouring Mali and “completely destroyed” it, a Mauritanian security source said.

Friday’s assault in the forest region of Wagadou in western Mali involved air strikes, the unnamed source told the AFP news agency, adding that the “terrorists” struck back with “heavy arms”.

“The definitive toll on the enemy side will only be known at dawn but it will be heavy. The tents of the camp and three vehicles have been destroyed,” the source said.

“Strong explosions were heard across a 20km radius, probably heavy weapons stocked in the camp,” the source continued. “We are in control of the situation and the zone has been secured.”

The attack was confirmed by a Malian soldier, Ousmane Diarra, who said the fighting was “very fierce”.

Mauritania is said to have coordinated the offensive with the government of Mali. While not stated, it is likely that French and possibly US commandos were involved in the operations. Note that airstrikes were reported during the operation. Neither Mauritania nor Mali have the capacity to launch airstrikes. And French commandos are known to have participated in a raid on an AQIM camp in Mali in July 2010.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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4 Comments

  • Soccer says:

    This, along with the air raid on Shabab, spells big trouble for Al Qaeda. Amazing job done. The world is pounding these monsters into the ground and that’s a good thing. Taking out terrorist camps is ALWAYS a good thing!

  • Mirage says:

    Im sure glad someone is finally attacking these guys, maybe this will be the frist al-qaeda group to fall now? i highly doubt it though 😛

  • Eric says:

    I was reading a news report on 25 June announcing that this raid was underway or was about to be sortied – reporting it before or while it was happening. Not confidence-inspiring conduct in the media or from the source if it was in fact reported publically beforehand. I could be wrong about this, and hope I am.
    Awaiting the facts from the post-raid wash-up, it seems to have gone well. A fresh moment. We don’t see enough of this good stuff: Good cooperation between two developing neighbor states, and effective support from developed nations’ militaries, working to clean up a border region.
    Paks and Arabs alike are simply incapable of this kind of trust and cooperation at a national level, as they seem to lack the integrity chromosome. Double-dealing and then lying about it afterwards seem to have the same appeal to them as team
    sports appeal to other people.

  • paul says:

    Good thing for us and much more for the malians who do not deserve terrorism. Unfortunately it is quite likely that the lybian crisis, even if far away, will destabilize even more the whole sahel/sahara region. Ghadafi is using sahara tribesmen as supletive forces. He will be down some day but the weapons and money will survive him and live their own life throughout the region.

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