Mauritania seeks support against terrorism after AQIM claimed soldiers’ kidnapping
Mauritania has asked for international support to confront what it called a serious threat of terrorism to West Africa following an attack in the north of the country claimed by al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda’s North Africa wing, which has claimed previous attacks in the Islamic Saharan state, said in a statement this week it had captured twelve Mauritanian soldiers after ambushing their patrol on Monday in a northern iron ore mining zone.
The attack in the Zouerate region posed the first major security challenge to Mauritania’s ruling generals, who last month toppled and detained elected civilian president, President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.
The United States and the European Union, which had backed Abdallahi as an ally in the U.S.-led global war on terror, have strongly condemned the coup and suspended some non-humanitarian aid, which had included U.S. training for Mauritanian troops