Ansar Dine, a Tuareg jihadist front for Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, has claimed four recent attacks in Mali. Most of the attacks occurred in the northern part of the West African nation, but one occurred in the more secure Segou region in central Mali.
Ansar Dine claimed the attacks in one of the first statements released by their new propaganda outfit – Al Rimaah Media – which were later obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.
In the northern region of Kidal, Ansar Dine claimed to detonate improvised explosive devices on three UN vehicles near Aguelhok, Tesslitnear and Kidal. The jihadist group also claimed to target a UN camp in Kidal with rockets.
Further south in the Segou region, Ansar Dine claimed “attacking a checkpoint of the Malian army in the area of Macina, resulting in another number of killed and wounded in the ranks of the army.” Local media reported four jihadists attacked a gendarmerie base in the town, while others reported that the attack left four dead and several vehicles stolen. The assault, which is one the southernmost so far this year, was likely carried out by Ansar Dine’s Fulani front, the Macina Liberation Movement.
According to data compiled by The Long War Journal, there have been at least 40 al Qaeda-linked attacks in Mali and Burkina Faso since January. Most have occurred in the northern half of Mali, however, several have taken place in the more secure southern portion of the country. (See map above for more details.)