Deadly attack on Mauritania army

Armed men suspected to have links to al-Qaeda kill 12 soldiers on patrol.

    The attack on Mauritania's army was the worst since 2005 [File: AFP]

    Al-Qaeda in Islamic North Africa had called for a holy war to avenge the August 6 overthrow by the military of Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, Mauritania's first freely elected president.

    Military training

    Since the 2005 attack, the Group for Call and Combat has represented itself as a branch of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network operating in northern Africa.

    The United States had sent dozens of troops to train Mauritania's military in the far northern deserts, hoping the country could act as a bulwark against the southward encroachment of al-Qaeda-linked operatives in North Africa.

    But the US suspended those programmes along with more than $20m in aid after the August coup.

    In December 2007, armed men believed to be linked to al-Qaeda murdered four French tourists, prompting organisers of the famous Dakar Rally to cancel the race this year.

    Mauritanian authorities also suspect Islamist "terrorists" were responsible for an attack on the Israeli embassy in Nouakchott, which killed three soldiers near the town of Ghallawiya, around 700km north of the capital.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.