Mali hotel attack claimed by fighters linked to Belmokhtar

A burned vehicle stands in front of the Hotel Byblos in the central Malian town of Sevare, on August 8, 2015A deadly hostage drama at a Mali hotel in which 13 people died — including five UN workers — was claimed Tuesday by fighters linked to the notorious one-eyed Algerian jihadi leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar. A radical associated with militant Malian Islamic leader Amadou Koufa said he gave his “blessing” for the attack on the Byblos Hotel in the central town of Sevare. Koufa has ties to Belmokhtar — known as “The Uncatchable” — the former head of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) who now leads his own extremist Al-Murabitoun group.

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