AQIM video claims killing of three ‘spies’ for France, Mauritania

  • AFP, Nouakchott
  • Updated: Dec 09, 2015 09:01 IST
An image grab taken from an undated video released by Al-Andalus Media Production/Shara Branch, a media branch for al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), on June 21, 2015, allegedly shows hostages Johan Gustafson (L) of Sweden and Stephan McGowan of South Africa, who were kidnapped in Mali's northern city of Timbuktu in 2011. (AFP / Al-Andalus / HO)

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has released a video purporting to show the execution of three men, a Mauritanian and two Malians, accused of spying for Mauritania and France.

The video was seen by AFP on Tuesday, less than two weeks after a claim of two other AQIM executions for similar reasons.

Lasting nearly 23 minutes and titled “The Traitors”, the video was posted on YouTube on Sunday and removed from the site on Tuesday. It shows the summary execution of three men before onlookers.

There is no indication of when or where the video was shot.

The video named the Mauritanian as Mohamed Ould Habib, the brother of Maarouf Ould Haiba, an al Qaeda member who was sentenced to death for killing four French tourists in 2007 in southern Mauritania.

One of the two Malians who were executed was named as Mohamed Taher Attargui.

In the video, an AQIM official, Abou Abderrahmane al-Sanhaji, slams “spies” who he said are “the eyes of the enemy, allowing him to determine the positions of the jihad leaders”.

In a statement picked up by the private Mauritanian news agency Al-Akhbar on November 27, AQIM claimed to have killed two men in October who “were gathering information on positions to provide them to the French”.

It threatened to continue “to hunt down collaborators with the French or with other infidels”.

Mohamed Ag Abdellah and Fajr Ag Sidi Mohamed, killed respectively in Mali and Algeria, were ethnic Tuaregs from northern Mali, according to Al-Akhbar.

France has more than 1,000 troops in Mali, a former colony and a key battleground of its Barkhane counter-terror mission spanning five countries in Africa’s restive Sahel region.

Mali has been plagued by unrest since the north of the vast west African state fell under the control of Tuareg rebels and jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda in 2012.

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