Mauritania 'destroys al-Qaeda camp' in Mali

Security source says military inflicted "heavy toll" on al-Qaeda fighters during air strikes in neighbouring Mali.

    The Mauritanian army has launched an attack on an al-Qaeda training camp in neighbouring Mali and "completely destroyed" it, a Mauritanian security source said.

    Friday's assault in the forest region of Wagadou in western Mali involved air strikes, the unnamed source told the AFP news agency, adding that the "terrorists" struck back with "heavy arms".

    "The definitive toll on the enemy side will only be known at dawn but it will be heavy. The tents of the camp and three vehicles have been destroyed," the source said.

    "Strong explosions were heard across a 20km radius, probably heavy weapons stocked in the camp," the source continued. "We are in control of the situation and the zone has been secured."

    The attack was confirmed by a Malian soldier, Ousmane Diarra, who said the fighting was "very fierce".

    Several military officials had earlier said al-Qaeda was trying to set up a new base in the Wagadou region.

    Earlier this month, Mali and Mauritania agreed to lead a joint military operation to crush Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, AQIM, the group's north African offshoot.

    Mali and Mauritania have previously expressed concerns about the activities of the group, along with Nigeria and Algeria.

    AQIM, which has its roots in Algeria, has bases in Mali, from where it carries out armed attacks and kidnappings, particularly of Westerners, and is a party to arms and drugs trafficking.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    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.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.