Malian authorities have apprehended a man suspected to be linked to a deadly al-Qaeda attack last month in neighbouring Ivory Coast.
Alou Doumbia was arrested in Bamako on Saturday during an operation by Malian special forces.
Doumbia is suspected to have played a role in the attack on a popular beach resort in Grand Bassam which left at least 19 people dead.
Without Alou Doumbia, a car dealer, the leader could not leave Mali to travel to Ivory Coast. He is the logistics chief of the group. He is the closest collaborator of Kunta Dallah.
According to reports, Douimba a Malian national, ferried the gunmen from Mali to Ivory Coast.
“Alou Doumbia is one of the masterminds of the terrorist attack against Abidjan,” AFP quoted a source from Mali.
“Without Alou Doumbia, a car dealer, the leader could not leave Mali to travel to Ivory Coast. He is the logistics of the group. He is the closest collaborator of Kunta Dallah,” added the official.
Kunta Dallah, the alleged mastermind of the attack, is said to still be at large. He is suspected of both organising and taking part in the attack.
This is the third reported arrest on Malian soil in connection with the Grand Bassam attacks. About three weeks ago, two men were arrested in the West African country.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for the attack on the beach goers which it said was a revenge against French forces fighting them in the Sahel region.
France, a key player in security in West Africa has more than 3,000 troops in the region.
Meanwhile,Malian authorities have made about 2,000 arrests since November last year after declaring a state of emergency following a deadly attack at a prestigious hotel that left at least 20 dead in a hostage situation.