Mali's al-Qaida affiliate claims attack on French soldiers

July 02, 2018 - 12:36 pm

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — SITE Intelligence Group says the Mali branch of al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on French forces which officials said killed four civilians in the northern city of Gao.

The U.S.-based monitoring group said Monday the al-Qaida-linked militants, known by the acronym JNIM, said the suicide attack, along with another Friday on the G5 Sahel headquarters, was a message to the "French and their African allies" referring to the African Union Summit in Mauritania which French President Emmanuel Macron is attending Monday.

Mali's Ministry of Homeland Security said 31 were wounded, including eight French soldiers, in Sunday's attack.

SITE Intelligence Group earlier said JNIM, via a journalist who frequently receives direct claims from extremist groups, also claimed responsibility for a Saturday attack that killed four Malian soldiers.

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