Africom praises Mauritania in al-Qaeda fight

2011-07-13 09:49

Nouakchott - The head of United States African Command (Africom), General Carter Ham, on Tuesday congratulated Mauritania for its successes in the fight against al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim).

"I congratulated him for the success of the Mauritanian army in its fight against Aqim, in collaboration with Mali and other countries in the region," Ham said after a meeting with President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz in Nouakchott.

The general, who has been in Nouakchott since Sunday, also welcomed the Mauritanian peoples' rejection of the north African al-Qaeda branch, and committed to work to "advance security co-operation between America and Mauritania".

Mauritania has since 2010 carried out military operations against Aqim bases in northern Mali. On June 24 the army destroyed an al-Qaeda camp in a raid in western Mali near the border with Mauritania.

A week ago Aqim followers attacked a Mauritanian army base which houses a specialist anti-terrorist unit, in which six jihadists were killed in a counter-attack, according to an official Mauritanian toll.

Africom is one of six regional military headquarters of the US defence department. It is based in Stuttgart, Germany.