World Bulletin / News Desk
The number two of a faction of the Malian rebel group Ansar Dine operating in northern Mali was arrested Thursday, according to military and security sources.
The man was being questioned over an ambush on November 20 in which five soldiers and one civilian were killed as they transported ballot boxes following voting in municipal elections near Timbuktu.
The suspect, arrested in Gao, the biggest town in northern Mali, was identified by the sources as Attaher Ag Ihadou.
"His group, which is organising attacks south of Gao is behind the one that killed five soldiers last week," the military source said.
A Malian security force source added that he was a "big catch".
He had been transferred to the capital Bamako by helicopter for questioning, the source added.
French troops were deployed in 2013 to repel Al-Qaeda-aligned rebels who had overrun several northern towns in Mali, joining forces with Tuareg-led rebels claiming autonomy for the region.
Some 11,000 UN military and police have followed, attempting to maintain security, but the rebels remain active in the north while also spreading to the west African country's central regions.
afpLast Mod: 25 Kasım 2016, 10:32