Al Qaeda in Maghreb has claimed responsibility on Saturday for a deadly attack on a U.N. police base in the northern Mali city of Timbuktu, in a statement monitored by the SITE Intelligence group on Saturday.
After an operation that lasted for hours, Malian troops supported by U.N. helicopters recaptured the base after it was taken on Friday.
The attackers drove up to the entrance of the UN base in the former Hotel Palmeraie at around 6:30am local time and then blew up their vehicle, according to Olivier Salgado, a spokesman for the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA). A checkpoint in the city operated by Mali’s army was simultaneously attacked by gunmen.
The morning assault came on the heels of recent attacks on foreign entities that left 20 dead in a raid on a hotel in Mali’s capital in November and 30 in an attack in the capital of Burkina Faso last month.