Bomber of Paris's Mali embassy 'hates France': police

6th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

The man responsible for an explosion at the French embassy in Bamako is a 25-year-old Tunisian from a Saharan Al-Qaeda camp with a personal hatred for France , a police source said Thursday.

"He is a young man of 25 years, a Tunisian national. He has a personal hatred for France," the source close to the investigation told AFP.

The source said the man came from "a Katiba", a camp of Islamist fighters in the Sahara, but he did not seem to be an important member of the organisation.

The bombing late Wednesday appeared ill-prepared and the young man did not seem to be in control of the explosive.

In a statement on Wednesday evening, the Malian security ministry said: "A foreign individual exploded a gas cylinder in front of the French embassy in Bamako, lightly injuring two passers-by.

"The individual was armed with a pistol but could not use it. He is being interrogated by police," it said.

A security source said Wednesday evening the culprit was armed with an automatic pistol, a bomb and a grenade.

"I was there, the gas cylinder did not explode, it is the grenade which exploded," a witness told AFP on condition of anonymity. Witnesses also reported the man fired several shots at the door of the embassy.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has designated France as a target after a Franco-Mauritanian operation last July 22 against an Al-Qaeda base in Mali aimed at freeing a French hostage, Michel Germaneau, 78.

The operation failed and AQIM later announced it had killed the hostage.

AQIM is currently holding five French nationals, a Togolese and a Malagasy who were kidnapped in September at Arlit, a strategic mining site of French nuclear giant Areva in north Niger.

© 2011 AFP

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