Mali army raids Al Qaeda base, dozen militants killed

June 17th, 2009 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Bamako, June 17 (DPA) Mali’s army has killed at least a dozen militants in an attack on an Al Qaeda base near the border with Algeria, a media report said Wednesday.
The attack was the first against Al Qaeda on the Malian soil and came weeks after a British hostage was killed and a senior Malian intelligence official investigating the group was shot dead.

The BBC quoted Malian authorities as confirming the attack. The authorities refused to comment on whether Malian soldiers were killed in the assault.

Al Qaeda said it had killed Edwin Dyer, a British citizen who was captured in Mali after attending a festival on nomad culture.

The militant group had demanded that the British government free Abu Qatada, a Muslim cleric and convicted Jordanian extremist held in jail in Britain.

Swiss national Werner Greiner, who was captured along with Dyer and a German citizen, is still being held.

Following the killing of intelligence officer Lieutenant Colonel Lamana Ould Cheikh a week later, Mali said that it would target the militant group.

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