Translated by: TheMaghrebiNote
Spokesman of AQIM in Mali, Abu Assem Al Muhajir, spoke with an ANI journalist recently, in which he clarified and answered to many of the claims, that Jihadi leaders in Mali were supposedly killed. This includes Omar Ould Hamaha, aka Red Beard, and many other leaders.
“Mr. Omar Ould Hamaha is alive. He was not killed by the French contrary to statements by the French Defence Minister (Jean-Yves Le Drian) and French media, “said the spokesman of AQIM, Abu Assem al-Muhajir, quoted by Ani.
He also said: “Speaking of the killings of large numbers of the Mujahideen during the recent period, these are mere fabrications and has no foundations. We challenge the french to provide any evidence to the killing of any elements of the Islamic militants during the recent period” (as the french has claimed) – Stressing that the latest clash with the French was on Friday, April 11th. – and no Mujahideen were killed in these strikes, but he expects the announcement of french soldiers who were killed by the Insurgents.
This indicates and raises few things:
1) The internal “Drama” that occured between AQIM and Belmokhtar who led to his defection, was not a major one, as we can clearly see they operate freely together and share information.
2) These news might be in line with the recent news that the Jihadi groups are training and preparing for a Major offensive to retake northern mali
3) Once again, this confirms the fusion and merge between the two groups Al-Mourabitoune & MUJAO
4) The announcement of many Jihadi leaders being killed which was announced 14th March by the Malian army, including one of the most important, Oumar Ould Hamaha, was this authentic? Or rather optimistic?
More information on this issue:
Previous interview with Al-Mourabitoune spokesman (2 months ago): http://justpaste.it/MaliConflict
The supposed Major offensive coming up from Mali Jihadi groups: http://justpaste.it/f29l