A Mauritanian military spokesman said six militants suspected of belonging to al-Qaida's affiliate in North Africa were killed during a clash earlier this week.
Col. Tiyid Ould Brahim said Mauritanian soldiers found their bodies after Tuesday's attack in the town of Bassiknou. The attackers were believed to belong to Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM. They opened fire on a Mauritanian military base, attacking in a convoy of more than 20 cars, but were pushed back.
The army said Thursday soldiers barricaded the base and fought back. There were no casualties on the Mauritanian side.
AQIM has become increasingly bold in recent years, leading attacks on foreign targets and on Mauritanian government buildings and military installations.