Mauritania army on alert after Al-Qaeda attack
Mauritanian soldiers patrolled the town of Bassiknou on Wednesday after Al-Qaeda-linked extremists attacked a nearby army base which houses an anti-terrorist unit, a military source said.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) launched the raid ten days after one of its camps was destroyed in a raid by the Mauritanian army in western Mali, as it sought to flush out extremists in the desert region.
A military source speaking on condition of anonymity said soldiers were keeping watch around the town in the extreme south of the country.
The area was rocked by gunfire and explosions as the army, backed by military aircraft, battled AQIM militants in a counter-attack which lasted "less than an hour."
"The army riposte was strong and effective, causing 20 deaths among the assailants. Ten were taken prisoner and at least three vehicles were destroyed," the military source said.
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