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Mali links al Qaeda splinter group to November 20 hotel siege

Mali links al Qaeda splinter group to November 20 hotel siege

Mali

Mali’s chief prosecutor says they have evidence that jihadist group Al Mourabitoun, led by veteran militant leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar, was behind the November 20 attack on the Radisson Hotel.

Two Islamist militants stormed the luxury hotel in Mali’s capital Bamako killing 20 people including six Russians, three Chinese and an American.

Boubacar Sidiki Samake said that a scrap of paper with an Arabic inscription was found on the bodies of the two men, later killed by Malian Special Forces. The note had asked for the release of two prisoners, who are members of Al Mourabitoun held in neighbouring Niger and Mauritania.

These factors lead us to think that effectively Al Mourabitoun was at the origin of this attack

“These factors lead us to think that effectively Al Mourabitoun was at the origin of this attack,” Samake said on Malian state television late on Saturday.

Al Mourabitoun together with close ally Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) jointly claimed responsibility for the attack likewise Mali’s Massina Liberation Front.

Sahara-based Al Mourabitoun is led by Algerian Islamist leader Belmokhtar with a long history of leading insurgencies across north Africa and the Sahara.

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