First Published: 2013-01-21

 

Qaeda Islamists behind Algeria attack vow more attacks

 

Stern warning appears to be targeted at France as well as nine African nations that have pledged troops to join Mali campaign.

 

Middle East Online

Belmokhtar masterminded attack but did not participate

NOUAKCHOTT - An Al-Qaeda-linked group which shocked the world with its audacious hostage attack in Algeria threatened on Sunday to stage strikes on nations involved in chasing out Islamists from neighbouring Mali.

The stern warning, published by the Mauritanian news agency ANI, appeared to be targeted at France -- which is leading the offensive in Mali against jihadists occupying the north -- as well as nine African nations that have pledged troops to join the campaign, and anyone else helping out.

"We promise more operations in all the countries which have taken part in the crusade against Azawad if they do not review their decision," the "Signatories in Blood" group said in a statement, referring to northern Mali.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the one-eyed Islamist who formed his own brigade after a series of bitter feuds saw him cut ties with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, masterminded the attack on an Algerian gas plant that ended in scores dying.

"We remind our Muslim brothers of the need to clear out from sites run by foreign companies, especially the French ones, to save their lives," the statement said.

The group said it had tried to negotiate with the Algerian army to seek an "immediate end to the aggression against Muslims in Mali and the liberation of our brothers being held by the crusaders."

It added: "But the Algerian army did not respond, ... preferring to stage an attack which led to the elimination of the hostages."

Islamist militants and Tuareg separatist groups seized Mali's vast desert north in March last year. The two sides then had a falling out and the Islamists have since gained the upper hand.

France has been leading a military campaign in Mali for over a week to halt the Islamists' push southwards into government-controlled territory.

 

Britain votes to break away from EU, PM resigns

Yemen govt says rebels must withdraw before any transition

UN Chief, Saudi prince discuss situation in Yemen

5,000 migrants rescued from rubber dinghies in Mediterranean

Heat, long fasting days take their toll on Cairo residents

Libya govt. forces repel ISIS counterattack in Sirte

Oil slides on British referendum result

Crashed EgyptAir black boxes to go to France for repairs

Turkey acquits British academic over 'terror propaganda' charges

24 jailed in Bahrain for forming IS cell

Iraq commander says forces control over 80% of Fallujah

Israel sentences 4 Palestinians to life

Turkey in new quest to patch up with regional foes

Defiant Bahrain moves to dissolve opposition bloc

Kurdish-Arab forces push into IS Syria bastion of Manbij

Turkey confirms new accession talks with EU

Saudi suspect found dead after gunfight in Shiite town

Suspended Kuwait sues IOC for damages

Erdogan lashes out at EU treatment of Turkey

Turkey blocks visit of German delegation to Incirlik air base

Trump goes on blistering offensive against Clinton

EU negotiators endorse new border force proposal

Head of EU parliament hopes to arrange meeting of Israeli, Palestinian leaders

Turkish prosecutors demand 14 years for activists

Final push for votes as EU leaders warn over Brexit

Egypt government appeals court block on islands’ transfer to Saudis

Assad names Imad Khamis as new Prime Minister

Turkey wants Britain to stay in EU 'under any circumstances'

EU to open new membership talks with Turkey

Turkey arrests 3 IS suspects over 'LGBT rally plot'

Yemen rebels say consensus president crucial for peace deal

Fallujah 'almost cleared' of ISIS jihadists

Dawn prayers stoke fears for Turkey's Hagia Sophia

Turkish FM says normalisation deal depends on Israel

25 civilians killed in air raids on Syria’s Raqa

UN urges international community to aid civilians who fled Fallujah

UN envoy proposes roadmap for Yemen peace

Israel to open mission at NATO headquarters

6 Jordan soldiers killed in car bomb attack

France's Peugeot-Citroen returns to Iran in €400 million deal

Israel says Palestinian teenagers were shot 'mistakenly'

Pro-government forces prepare 'decisive' assault on Libya's Sirte

Huthi rebels advance towards Yemen's biggest airbase

17 bids for canal project linking Red Sea and Dead Sea

Egypt court deals blow to cession of Red Sea islands to Saudi