BAMAKO (AFP) – A Malian extremist close to the al-Qaeda-linked militia MUJAO on Sunday claimed responsibility for an attack that killed nine UN peacekeepers in the country’s restive north. Friday’s attack, the deadliest against the UN mission in Mali, targeted a contingent of peacekeepers from Niger.
“In the name of all the mujahedeens, we have attacked the soldiers of the Niger government which works with the enemies of Islam,” Sultan Ould Bady told AFP.
“Three groups of mujahedeens were on the ground,” said the extremist, known for his ties to the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO).
“If the enemies do not leave the territory of Islam, they will never have peace,” he said.
He had on previous occasions claimed responsibility for other attacks in northern Mali. The UN mission in Mali said the convoy of peacekeepers was on a supply run in the north-eastern Menaka-Asongo corridor when they were ambushed by men on motorbikes.