Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Aqim claims Mali suicide bombing

30 September 2013, 16:32

Nouakchott - Al-Qaeda's north African division claimed responsibility on Monday for a car bomb that rocked the Malian city of Timbuktu over the weekend, killing two civilians and wounding several soldiers, a report said.

"Two of our brave suicide bombers managed to reach the military base in Timbuktu in a vehicle carrying more than a ton of explosives," said a spokesperson for al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, according to the Mauritanian Alakhbar news agency.

The spokesperson said the explosion in the famed desert city killed 16 soldiers and wounded many more.

"The operation also led to the destruction of several military vehicles and blew up some of the buildings in the barracks," the unnamed spokesperson added.

The claim contradicts the army's statement, however, that four suicide bombers in the car when it exploded and two passers-by were the only people killed.

The attack on Saturday, which wounded six soldiers, was the first suicide bombing in the fabled mainly Tuareg and Arab caravan town since March.

It came a day after Aqim announced it had appointed Algerian Said Abou Moughatil to take over from Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, a key commander who was killed in fighting with French-led forces in northern Mali.

Abou Zeid, 46, was credited with having significantly expanded the jihadist group's field of operations to Tunisia and Niger, and for kidnapping activities across the region.

France confirmed in March that Abou Zeid had been killed "during fighting led by the French army in the Ifoghas mountains in northern Mali in late February".

Small-scale attacks

Mali has been the target of a series of attacks claimed by Islamist insurgents since France launched a military operation in January against al-Qaeda-linked groups including Aqim occupying the north of the country.

The French-led operation forced the extremists from the cities they seized in the chaotic aftermath of a military coup that overthrew Mali's government in March 2012.

Residual groups of these fighters are no longer able to carry out co-ordinated assaults, but are still capable of regular small-scale attacks, mainly against Malian and French soldiers.

On 21 March, a suicide bomber blew up a car near the Timbuktu airport at the start of an overnight assault on the city, killing a Malian soldier.

Aqim grew out of a movement launched in the late 1990s by radical Algerian Islamists who sought the overthrow of the Algerian government to be replaced with Islamic rule.

The organisation linked up to al-Qaeda in 2006 and has spun a tight network across tribes, clans, family and business lines that stretches across the vast Sahel region abutting the southern Sahara desert.

Aqim is currently thought to be holding eight Europeans hostage, including five French nationals, and earlier this month released a video deemed credible by France showing seven of them.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...