An Islamist group connected to al-Qaida claimed responsibility Monday for an ambush on French soldiers in the West African nation of Mali on Sunday.
The Islamist group taking responsibility, Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen, said the attack was a message to French President Emmanuel Macron before his visit to neighboring Mauritania for the African Union Summit on Monday, reported Reuters.
The attack is the latest in a string of raids by jihadis in Mali, which is the home of the five-nation G5 Sahel task force set on stamping out Islamic extremism in the region. (RELATED: German Interior Minister Offers To Resign Amid Migration Conflict, Throwing Merkel’s Political Future Into More Uncertainty)
The perpetrators of Sunday’s attack detonated a car bomb and fired at a military patrol, killing four civilians and wounding 31 people including four French soldiers, in the northern Mali town of Gao, reported Reuters.
Mali has experienced three deadly run-ins with Islamic extremists since Friday. Islamic militants killed six with grenades and car bombs in an offensive on the military task force’s headquarters on Friday. A landmine killed at least four Malian soldiers in central Mali on Saturday, reported the Washington Post.
French troops, including the French force of more than 4,000 that experienced the patrol attack on Sunday, are in Mali to combat Muslim extremists, reported Reuters. The five nations in the task force are Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger. Its efforts are funded in part by the U.S., Canada, France and other European Union nations.
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