Advertisement

Algerians targeting AQIM

ALGIERS, Algeria, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Algerian forces are quietly waging an offensive against members of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, an Algerian official revealed.

The North African branch of al-Qaida was blamed for the recent kidnapping of five French nationals. An American aid worker was killed by al-Qaida guerrillas last year.

Advertisement

AQIM in July announced that it beheaded Michel Germaneau after an attempt by French authorities to rescue the 78-year-old French engineer in Mali. Germaneau was kidnapped in April by AQIM in the northern Niger desert near the border of Mali and Algeria.

Algerian officials told French newspaper Le Monde on condition of anonymity that military forces would attack AQIM targets in the country "for some time," possibly until January.

The newspaper said the offensive was one of the largest against the North African branch of al-Qaida by Algerian forces, involving perhaps more than 1,000 troops.

Le Monde adds that AQIM, which went by the name Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat before swearing allegiance to Osama bin Laden in 2007, has never suffered defeat. Algerian officials who spoke to the newspaper said the offensive was meant to cut Algerian militants off from the rest of AQIM in North Africa.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement