Jihadists claim French soldier blast

2014-07-17 18:15
(Photo: file, AFP)

(Photo: file, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Nouakchott - A jihadist movement led by al-Qaeda-linked Mokhtar Belmokhtar has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack that killed a French soldier in Mali, the private Mauritanian news agency Alakhbar reported.

"A jihadist of our group succeeded in blowing up his booby-trapped vehicle against a unit of the invasion forces in the Al-Moustarat region," killing one French soldier and wounding others, a spokesperson for the group Al-Mourabitoune, Abou Aassim El-Mouhajir, said late Wednesday via the agency.

"[Monday's] attack was a reply addressed to the French who claim to have annihilated the jihadist forces and succeeded with Operation Serval," he added, referring to a military task force deployed in January 2013 to drive out armed Islamists who occupied towns in northern Mali for more than nine months.

The French defence ministry said on Tuesday that a Serbian-born legionnaire was killed north of Gao, one of three main towns in the desert north of the Sahel nation, taking to nine the number of French troops to have died in Mali. Six other soldiers were wounded.

"Operation Serval, which was launched against Muslim peoples, has wound up plunging the region into a civil war and inter-ethnic clashes while Islamic power had put an end to these tensions," the spokesperson for Al-Mourabitoune added via the news agency.

He alleged that France had "tried as usual to hide the truth and minimise the losses caused" but gave no alternative casualty figure.

Al-Mourabitoune is an armed movement formed last year by the merger of the Signatories in Blood group led by Belmokhtar and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), which has been highly active in the Gao region.

Belmokhtar, a former chief of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, is wanted by the security services of several countries and is currently believed to be in southern Libya.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was on Thursday due to visit Gao during a visit to Mali, where he has signed a military cooperation agreement to step up the fight against Islamists in the north.

Paris has also announced that Operation Serval is to be replaced by a permanent anti-terrorist force known as Barkhane, with some 3 000 men covering Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.

Read more on:    aqim  |  mujao  |  france  |  mali  |  west africa

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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


This is why you should install iOS 8

Check out this video to see what iOS 8 has in store for you!


For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
17 photo illusions that look so real
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!

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

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop 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


Don`t judge so quickly or expect too much, be more accepting and understanding and make space for fun and spontaneity. ...read more

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


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.


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.