Al-Qaeda-linked group said three of its members who took part in an attack in northern Mali have been arrested by French forces in the West African nation.
Mali’s Security Minister Salif Traore said the French forces from Operation Barkhane arrested the men during a raid in connection with the attack that killed at least 77 people.
The group, allied to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), targeted militia groups committed to restoring peace in Mali.
AQIM fighters were who attempted to stage an attack in Mali’s capital, Bamako during the France-Africa Summit failed. Stringent security measures forced the suspects to delay their plans, an official said.
Mali fell into the hands of Islamist fighters in 2012 after Tuareg mercenaries that fought for Libya’s Moammar Ghadaffi return to the north and started a rebellion.
France has at least 4,000 troops and the U.N. peacekeeping mission, MINUSMA, has 13,000 staff from 123 nations in Mali.