/ 18 August 2009

Al-Qaeda claim French embassy bombing in Mauritania

Al-Qaeda’s North Africa wing said on Tuesday it was responsible for a suicide bombing at the French embassy in Mauritania earlier this month that injured three people.

The bombing on August 8 in Nouakchott came three days after Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who overthrew the Islamic state’s first freely elected leader last year, was sworn in as president, promising to make the fight against al-Qaeda a priority.

The bomber, named as Abu Obeida Musa al-Basri, was from Nouakchott, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said on a website used by al-Qaeda-linked organisations.

”This operation came in reaction to the hostility of the Crusaders — led by France — and their apostate agents against Islam and its people,” the group said in the statement, which was accompanied by images depicting al-Basri posing with weapons in the desert.

France condemned the bombing and vowed to fight groups committing such attacks. Those injured included two embassy guards, according to France’s Foreign Ministry.

The normally peaceful former French colony has seen an upturn in violence in recent months. France has said it would help Mauritania in its fight against the violence. — Reuters