(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
BAMAKO - Malian and French troops have arrested a close associate of a preacher whose jihadist group has claimed dozens of attacks against Western and Malian targets, Mali's security minister said on Sunday.
Macina Liberation Front, based in central Mali's Mopti region, is led by cleric Amadou Koufa who has called upon followers to take up arms and rebuild the historic Fulani empire of Massina.
"I confirm that the terrorist Alhousseyni Ag Assaleh, in charge of logisitics for...the group run by Amadou Koufa was arrested on 8 July during a joint operation with Barkhane in the Timbuktu region," General Salif Traoré told Reuters.
He said the arrest was kept secret until now because of ongoing efforts to capture others in his network.