The army of the West African nation of Mauritania has reportedly “completely destroyed” an Al-Qaeda camp in the neighboring country of Mali, according to a Mauritanian security source.
The source told Agence France Presse (AFP) that the Mauritanian military forces attacked a training facility of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in the Wagadou region of western Mali. The operation included air strikes and led to the deaths of at least four soldiers.
“The definitive toll on the enemy side will only be known at dawn but it will be heavy,” the Mauritanian official said.
“The tents of the camp and three vehicles have been destroyed. Strong explosions were heard across a 20-kilometer radius, probably heavy weapons stocked in the camp. We are in control of the situation and the zone has been secured.”
An official on the Mali side also confirmed the attack, according to AFP.
Captain Ousmane Diarra said the battle was “very fierce.”
Mali and Mauritania had earlier agreed to jointly launch military operations to stamp out AQIM, the North African arm of al-Qaeda.
Based in Algeria, AQIM has conducted armed attacks and kidnappings, especially of Westerners.