Al-Qaeda-linked group claims Mali restaurant attack

An al-Qaeda-linked group has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a restaurant and bar in Mali's capital, Bamako, according to Mauritanian news media.

A masked assailant sprayed bullets on Saturday into La Terrasse, a restaurant and bar that is popular with foreigners, killing five people, including a Frenchman and a Belgian.

Al Mourabitoun, or The Sentinels, a northern Mali armed group allied with al-Qaeda, said it was behind the violence in Bamako.

The claim of responsibility was carried on the Mauritanian news website Al-Akhbar, which often receives messages from Malian armed groups.

Al Mourabitoun was formed by Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the Algerian commander of al-Qaeda's North African operations who said the attack was a reprisal "against the heathen West which has offended our prophet" and revenge for the killing of a leader of the Al Mourabitoun group in a French-Malian military operation.

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