Jihadists: Mali attack because of Chad-Israel relations

Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists claim attack on UN peacekeepers in Mali, say it was response to Chad’s renewal of diplomatic ties with Israel.

Elad Benari,

Bamako, Mali
Bamako, Mali
iStock

Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists on Sunday claimed an attack on a United Nations peacekeeping base in Mali, saying the attack was in response to Chad’s renewal of diplomatic relations with Israel.

At least 10 peacekeepers were killed in the attack and 25 wounded, the UN mission in Mali said, according to The Associated Press. The dead peacekeepers were Chadian nationals.

The Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on the Telegram messaging service, according to AP.

The attack came as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited Chad, where he met President Idriss Deby and the two announced that the countries would renew their diplomatic relations.

Mali is under threat from a number of extremist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS) organization, and attacks have moved from the north to central Mali.

French forces intervened in Mali in 2013 to drive back fighters who had hijacked a Tuareg uprising a year earlier, and some 4,000 French troops remain there. The UN Security Council then deployed peacekeepers, which have been targets of jihadists.

In 2015, terrorists affiliated with Al-Qaeda attacked a hotel in the Mali capital of Bamako, taking more than 170 people hostage.

During the attack, 20 hostages were killed, among them an Israeli, 58-year-old Shmuel Benalal.


More Arutz Sheva videos:


top