North African branch of terror group, Al Qaeda, has said that it’s Sunday’s attack on a beach resort in Ivory Coast was revenge for France’s offensive against Islamist militants in the Sahel region.
In a statement by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb stated this in a message posted on the group’s social media accounts, calling on France to withdraw its forces from the region.
At least 18 persons were killed in the attack including three Ivorian Special Forces personnel and three of the attackers.
According to the statement, all countries involved in the French invasion of Mali are asked to withdraw.
France had launched Operation Serval to oust militants from northern Mali and replaced it in 2014 with Operation Barkhane which targets militants across the Sahel region.
Sunday’s attack was the first militant raid in Ivory Coast.
It is said to be the third high profile attack in the region since November 2015 when 20 persons were killed at a hotel in Mali and 30 died in an attack on a cafe and hotel in Burkina Faso in January.