al Qaeda claims responsibility

BAMAKO: al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a UN police base in the northern Mali city of Timbuktu, in a statement monitored by the SITE Intelligence group on Saturday. Malian troops backed by UN helicopters recaptured the base hours after it was taken on Friday. Militants have expanded their attacks in the region, killing 20 in a raid on a hotel in Mali’s capital in November and 30 in an attack in the capital of Burkina Faso last month.