Results tagged “Mali”
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The UN mission reported that one Chadian peacekeeper was killed and four were seriously wounded when their vehicle hit a landmine near Aguelhok in northeastern Mali. The head of the UN mission condemned the attack as a war crime.
A rebel group in Kidal in northern Mali captured an al Qaeda operative known as Meherig Jafar and transferred him to Malian security forces. Jafar is believed to be a deputy to Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a senior leader in the al-Murabitoon Brigade, which is separate from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb but loyal to al Qaeda.
At least four UN troops were killed and six seriously injured when a convoy of Chadian peacekeepers hit a land mine about 20 miles outside of Kidal. In separate attacks yesterday, mortars were fired at a UN base in Aguelhok, and four UN civilian contractors were injured by a landmine. A UN spokesman said attacks in the area have been increasing. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's Sahara branch recently claimed four attacks carried out in Timbuktu in July and August.
The UN Security Council condemned the Aug. 16 suicide attack in Ber that killed two UN peacekeeping troops from Burkina Faso and wounded seven other troops, and said the attack will not deter UN efforts. On Aug. 10, French special forces captured three suspected members of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb near Timbuktu; the UN's Mali mission said that an AQIM cell based west of Timbuktu possibly included Somali, Chadian, and Tunisian nationals as well as a man with dual Spanish-Moroccan citizenship.
Islamist militants carried out a suicide car bombing outside a patrol base in Ber, about 40 miles east of Timbuktu, killing two UN peacekeeping troops from Burkina Faso and injuring nine other troops. Three peacekeeping troops were injured earlier this week by land mines, in two separate attacks.
French forces dropped up to five bombs in the Essakane region west of Timbuktu yesterday, targeting al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb positions. President Keita said last week that he is committed to preventing the emergence of a caliphate in Mali.
French military forces arrested Yoro Ould Daha, a former leader of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, earler this week at his home in Gao. Algeria has said bad weather, not a terrorist attack, caused the July 24 passenger jet crash in the Malian desert.
A suicide car bomb attack on French troops patrolling in the Al Moustarat region north of Gao killed one French soldier and wounded at least six others. In a goodwill gesture ahead of peace talks between the Malian government and separatist rebels in the north, 41 Tuareg prisoners were exchanged for 45 soldiers held by rebels. A message purportedly from Hamaad bin Muhammad al-Amin al-Shinqiti, former head of the sharia judiciary in Gao, expressed his approval of the Islamic State; the message was titled "Azawadi Support for the Islamic State."
French Foreign Minister LeDrian announced the end of Operation Serval in Mali and the commencement of a new counterterrorism operation called Operation Barkhan, which will see 1,000 French soldiers left in Mali and 3,000 more deployed to Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad. The operation, which will be based in Chad and employ drones, helicopters, fighter jets, transport planes, and armored vehicles, aims to prevent the Sahel region from becoming "a highway ... where jihadist groups between Libya and the Atlantic Ocean can rebuild themselves."
A MINUSMA force vehicle carrying Burkinabe peacekeeping troops was hit by a roadside bomb near Goundam, about 30 km west of Timbuktu; one peacekeeper was killed and six others injured, three of them seriously. On June 25, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of its peacekeeping mission in Mali for another 12 months, but downsized the maximum military personnel level from 7,137 to 5,437. The current civilian, police, and military force is now at about 75% of the target levels. The UN Secretary-General said security in northern Mali has deteriorated since the beginning of 2014.