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Mali Arrests Suspected Planner of Radisson Attack


An image obtained by AFP on April 21, 2016 in Bamako shows Fawaz Ould Ahmedia from Mauritania, suspected of planning and carrying out a string of deadly attacks on sites popular with foreigners in Mali in 2015, after his arrest on the same day in a south-

An image obtained by AFP on April 21, 2016 in Bamako shows Fawaz Ould Ahmedia from Mauritania, suspected of planning and carrying out a string of deadly attacks on sites popular with foreigners in Mali in 2015, after his arrest on the same day in a south-

Authorities in Mali have arrested a Mauritanian man suspected of planning multiple deadly assaults on Malian hotels last year.

VOA French to Africa reports that Fawaz Ould Ahmedia, also known as Ibrahim 10, was arrested late Thursday in the Malian capital, Bamako, by Malian intelligence services.

Reporter Kassim Traore says Ahmedia was allegedly preparing to launch a new attack Friday, and that his arrest may have prevented a tragedy.

Ahmedia is the suspected mastermind behind the assault on Bamako's upscale Radisson Blu hotel last November that killed 22 people.

FILE - Malian troops take position outside the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 20, 2015. Gunmen attacked the luxury hotel in Mali's capital Bamako, seizing 170 guests and staff in an ongoing hostage situation that has left at least three people dead.

FILE - Malian troops take position outside the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 20, 2015. Gunmen attacked the luxury hotel in Mali's capital Bamako, seizing 170 guests and staff in an ongoing hostage situation that has left at least three people dead.

French news agency AFP cites a security source as saying Ahmedia has confessed to planning an attack on a central Malian hotel that killed 13 people last August, and attacking a bar and restaurant in Bamako in March 2015, killing five people.

Mali has been fighting to contain Islamist militants since a 2012 coup allowed several groups to briefly gain control of the country's north.

Two regional groups, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and al-Mourabitoun, claimed responsibility for the attack on the Radisson. The same groups have since claimed responsibility for attacks on a hotel in Burkina Faso's capital and a beach resort in Ivory Coast.

Soldiers stand in guard on the beach in Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast, after a terrorist attack on a resort there March 13, 2016.

Soldiers stand in guard on the beach in Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast, after a terrorist attack on a resort there March 13, 2016.

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