Islamic Militancy

Mali militants still a threat to West Africa, says UN chief

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Photo: AFP

AUN force is to take over security duties from French forces who entered Mali in January to halt an Islamist advance and help the government re-establish its authority over the vast country.

Sunday, 9 June, 2013, 4:33pm

Jihadi says Sabah state is Malaysia's soft spot

Fishing boats like this one in Lahad Datu, Sabah, are often used to ferry Islamic militants into the Malaysian state. Photo: EPA

It is a journey Indonesian Ali Fauzi has made countless times, crossing into Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah on fishing boats and dodging the country's maritime patrols under the cover of darkness.

25 Mar 2013 - 5:59am

US may use drones on extremists to stop Syria becoming terror haven

A rebel sniper trains his rifle on a Syrian army position through a hole blasted in the wall of a building in Aleppo. Photo: AP

The CIA is secretly targeting Islamic extremists in Syria for possible lethal drone strikes as part of a contingency plan to protect the US and its allies in the event the turmoil there worsens, current and former US officials say.

17 Mar 2013 - 7:22am

'Uncatchable' terror leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar reportedly killed in Mali

An image from Mauritanian news agency ANI reportedly shows Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who is said to have been killed by troops. Photo: AFP

The death of one of the world's most wanted jihadists would be a major blow to al-Qaeda in the region and to Islamist rebels already forced to flee towns they had seized in northern Mali by an offensive by French and African troops.

4 Mar 2013 - 5:22am

Malaysia stand-off with armed Filipinos ends in violence

Malaysian policemen transport the bodies of police commandos who were killed in a mortar attack in Tanduo village, Sabah. Photo: EPA

Twelve followers of a self-described Philippine Sultan died in a shootout with Malaysian security forces on Friday, police said, as tensions ratcheted up in their 17-day stand-off.

2 Mar 2013 - 4:14am 4 comments

New violence breaks out in Mali

Tuareg soldiers were fighting what one source said 'seemed to be Arab fighters' near the town of Tessalit. Photo: AP

Fresh fighting erupted yesterday in northern Mali between ethnic Tuareg and an unidentified armed group, security sources said, the latest violence in the wake of a French-led campaign that drove radical Islamist fighters from major cities.

24 Feb 2013 - 6:25am

Manila wants peaceful end to Sabah stand-off with Malaysia

Malaysian armed policemen return from patrol in Tanjung Labian near Lahad Datu, on the Malaysian part of Borneo island. Photo: AFP

The group claims to be followers of a former Philippine-based Islamic sultanate that once controlled parts of Borneo, including the stand-off site, and is refusing to leave Malaysian territory.

17 Feb 2013 - 6:22am

Al-Qaeda-linked militants free two Filipino hostages

Freed Filiipino hostages, cameraman Ramil Vela (right) and audio technician Roland "Buboy" Letriro are treated at the provincial hospital in Jolo, Sulu. Photo: AFP

Gunmen from the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf Islamist group freed two Filipino members of a Jordanian TV crew who they kidnapped last year as they set out to interview the extremists.

4 Feb 2013 - 2:38am

French-led forces take control of key north Mali town, US to help refuel warplanes

Malian soldiers patrol in a street of Diabaly (400km north of the capital Bamako). Photo: AFP

The seizure of Gao, the most populated town in Mali’s northern region, was announced by the French defence ministry and confirmed by Malian security sources on Saturday.

27 Jan 2013 - 10:27am

African forces boost Mali offensive, concern over abuses

Malian soldiers patrol in Diabaly on Wednesday after French and Malian troops recaptured the frontline towns of Diabaly and Douentza in a major boost to their push north to flush out al-Qaeda-linked rebels. Photo: AFP

African forces moved towards Mali’s centre on Thursday, as the European Union joined a chorus of concern over summary killings and abuses in the offensive on al-Qaeda-linked groups.

The first troops from a UN-mandated African force aimed at replacing the French mission have “already started to move towards central towns”, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in Paris.

24 Jan 2013 - 5:52pm

Algeria hostage crisis comes to an end, dozens killed in final assault

Algerian soldiers secure the airport in In Amenas before the departure of freed hostages. Photo: Xinhua

Algerian troops stormed a remote gas plant Saturday to end a hostage crisis that killed 23 foreigners and Algerians, seven of them executed by their Islamist captors in a final military assault.

20 Jan 2013 - 4:23pm

Gunmen 'kill 7 hostages' amid final shoot-out

In Amenas in the Sahara desert. Islamist captors had demanded a prisoner swap and end to French military action in Mali. Photo: AFP

Islamist gunmen killed seven foreign hostages in Algeria yesterday before being gunned down by special forces in a final assault on a remote desert gas complex, state television said.

20 Jan 2013 - 7:13am

Algeria hostage crisis ends in bloodshed

File photo of the gas field in Amenas, Algeria. Photo: Reuters

Islamists killed all seven of their remaining foreign captives on Saturday before being gunned down at a gas plant in the Algerian desert, state media said, ending one of the bloodiest international hostage crises in years.

20 Jan 2013 - 12:44am

Algeria's deadly raid aimed to crush Islamists, not save hostages

Video grab from Ennahar TV, filmed in June last year and released Friday, shows Algerian soldiers in an undisclosed location. Photo: AFP

Hardened by its decades-old struggle with Islamists, Algeria's paramount concern in launching its deadly mission against al-Qaeda-linked hostage-takers was to crush them, not to save lives, analysts said.

20 Jan 2013 - 4:43am

French-backed Malian troops reclaim key town from rebels

Nigerian soldiers sit in military trucks before leaving for Mali. Photo: Reuters

The Malian army backed by French troops on Friday wrested a key central town from Islamist rebels, as the UN warned up to a million people could be driven from their homes by fighting in coming months.

18 Jan 2013 - 10:02pm