Bamako: Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has
claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 11 Algerian
security forces, a foreign security source in neighbouring
Mali told agency on Thursday.
"Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed
responsibility for killing at least 11 Algerian policemen, "
the source told AFP in Bamako, speaking on condition of
"The claim was made in a written statement... in the form
of leaflets dropped on the border between Mali and Algeria."
A councillor in the north of Mali confirmed the existence
of the AQIM communique.
The Algerian paramilitary police officers were attacked
in their vehicles at dawn yesterday near Tinzaoutine, about
2,000 kilometres south of the capital Algiers when a group of
Islamists opened fire on their convoy.
The policemen were responsible for border surveillance.
It is the deadliest attack in a year in Algeria.
AQIM was founded in the late 1990s by radical Algerian
Islamists who sought the overthrow of the Algerian government
to be replaced with Islamic rule. The organisation linked
itself to Al-Qaeda in 2006.
The organisation`s branch spans large parts of west
Africa, with around 300 men running a tiny but well-oiled army
which has raked in millions of dollars from ransoms.
The group has claimed responsibility for numerous
kidnappings of tourists, several of whom have been killed.