Mali arrests 11 in sweep following Al Qaeda raid


The Mali an army has detained 11 suspected Islamist militants in a sweep following an attack on a base belonging to Al Qaeda’s African wing, said a military source.

“We have arrested 11 people in the Wagadou region and we have handed them over to the secret service,” the source told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Mauritania said on Sunday that 17 people were killed in a joint attack it carried out with Malian forces on an Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) camp in the Wagadou forest region near Mauritania’s border on Friday, Reuters reports.

A Mauritanian army spokesman said 15 Al Qaeda fighter were killed and nine were captured by the Malian army while two Mauritanian soldiers were killed during the fighting and five wounded.

Governments in Africa’s Sahel region are on heightened alert since the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. special forces in Pakistan in May.

Security analysts have said AQIM may be planning revenge attacks and also may have new access to weapons and explosives from Libya since an uprising there loosened the government’s control of stockpiles.