Three civilians were killed and nine peacekeepers from Niger were wounded after a suicide bomber prematurely detonated explosives as he tried to drive into a UN peacekeeper camp in the town of Ansongo, Mali. The bomber attempted to drive past security but was shot. However, he was able to successfully detonate his explosives-laden vehicle.
The jihadist organization Al-Murabitoun, led by former Al-Qaeda official Mokhtar Belmokhtar, claimed responsibility for the attack in an audio message sent to the Mauritanian news service Al Akhbar. The audio message stated that the bomber’s name was Ibrahim al Ansari, and the attack was specifically to target Nigerien soldiers in response for President Mahamadou Issoufou’s marching in Paris to support Charlie Hebdo, and for aiding anti-jihadist efforts in Mali. Al-Murabitoun also claimed responsibility for several other recent terrorist attacks in northern Mali.