- Malian soldiers have killed more than 16 suspected Al-Qaeda members during a raid at their base in the Sahara Desert near the Algerian border, officials have said.
The raid in the northern region also saw government soldiers capturing the base in Aqmi.
The raid came almost two weeks after the Islamists militant group announced that it had killed a British hostage who was taken in Niger on 22 January along with a Swiss citizen and two other tourists in Niger.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which is believed to operate in the Sahara Desert between Algeria, Mali and Niger, has sought to extend its range into nations on the southern edge of the Sahara and has claimed several attacks in the region.
Last week, a senior Malian intelligence officer who was investigating the group was shot dead in Timbuktu. Lieutenant Colonel Lamana Ould Cheikh was believed to have been behind the recent arrest of three alleged militants.
Malian authorities have yet to react to the assassination of a Briton on their territory, but officials in Bamako have said that government has done all its best to secure the release of the Briton.
Mali and Niger, together with Algeria, the most affected by the terrorist cell have called on more international assistance to fight terrorism in the Sahara desert region.
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