Mali: Extremists claim attack that killed 5 peacekeepers

AP News
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Posted: Feb 13, 2016 11:13 AM

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — A group that tracks jihadi activity online says Mali-based Islamic extremists have claimed responsibility for an attack on a U.N. base that killed five peacekeepers.

SITE Intelligence Group said Ansar Dine issued a statement on Telegram describing Friday's attack in the northern city of Kidal as a warning to France and its supporters. The statement said a Mauritanian fighter detonated a car bomb inside the base while other fighters attacked it with rockets.

Led by a Tuareg, Iyad Ag Ghali, a native of the Kidal region, Ansar Dine emerged in 2012 as a religious alternative to the largely secular Tuareg separatists operating in northern Mali. Ansar Dine allied itself with al-Qaida and took over much of Mali's north before France led a military intervention in 2013.