Air strikes 'hit al-Qaeda in Mali'

2012-03-14 14:07
Nouakchott - Mauritania said on Tuesday its air force hit al-Qaeda targets in northern Mali, but Malian official sources reported the attacks had misfired and injured two civilians instead.

The air strikes on Sunday came after al-Qaeda's north African wing released a member of Mauritania's security forces kidnapped in December in exchange for the release of a suspected Islamist militant from a Mauritanian prison.

"Those who took our gendarme hostage liberated him for the release of one of its criminal members from our prison, but the planes of the army chased them and hit them," President Mohamed Abdel Aziz said on state television.

The strike about 80km north of Timbuktu was the latest by Mauritania targeting al-Qaeda operatives in neighbouring Mali since June, when forces struck a suspected al-Qaeda camp in the Wagadou forest near the border.

Regional neighbours have accused Mali, which also faces a Tuareg rebellion in its desert north that has been bolstered by arms and fighters from Libya, of doing too little to combat Islamist militants.

Abdel Aziz said the latest strike by Mauritania targeted a convoy of vehicles suspected of belonging to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim), which has claimed responsibility for a rash of kidnappings across the Sahel.

Two Malian officials confirmed the air strike took place but said that the Islamists targeted were not hit.

"It was a transport vehicle full of goods that was hit," Tahart Ould El Hadj, mayor of Salam commune in Timbuktu region, told Reuters, adding that a man and a woman were injured.

Baba Haidara, a Malian member of parliament for Timbuktu, also told Reuters the strikes had missed their target.

"Islamists came to the market to buy provisions and the Mauritanians were informed but the Islamists had already left [when the strike happened]," he said.

Haidara said Mali had no problem with the incursion as it fell under the agreement between countries in the region to allow armies pursuit across borders.

Aqim has its roots in Algeria's Salafist movement, but has pushed south into the lawless Sahel region in recent years where it funds operations by collecting kidnap ransoms and by siphoning off the West African drugs trade.

Read more on:    tuaregs  |  aqim  |  al-qaeda  |  mali  |  mauritania  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Africa
 

Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!

 
 

Men24.com

This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You have the ability to lead and take up campaigns that can sway the crowd and make things happen. There can be a slightly...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.