Al-Qaeda Affiliate Claims Mortar Attack on UN Forces in Mali

(Bloomberg) -- Al-Qaeda-linked militants claimed responsibility for a mortar attack on a United Nations camp in northern Mali that wounded five French soldiers last week.

The claim by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims, or JNIM, was reported Wednesday by al-Akhbar, a news agency in neighboring Mauritania. The UN camp in Kidal was targeted on March 22, ahead of a visit to the region by Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga.

Islamist fighters in Mali, who seized swathes of territory after the government collapsed in 2012 only to be pushed back by a French military intervention, are again stepping up activities in West Africa’s Sahel region. JNIM previously took responsibility for a March 2 attack on army headquarters and the French embassy in Burkina Faso’s capital.

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