An Al-Qaeda branch has threatened to attack on western companies’ operations across North and West Africa.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) termed them ‘legitimate targets for the mujahideen’ calling on their followers and sympathizers to boycott them.
AQIM has in the past launched raids on western installations especially in Algeria where it carried out a major attack on a gas plant in 2013. The assault left dozens of workers killed.
High profile attacks by AQIM fighters have in the past targeted on hotels frequented by foreigners in Mali, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.
In 2013, France led a military intervention in Mali to drive back Islamist groups that had set foothold in the country’s desert north a year earlier.
France still holds thousands of troops deployed in West Africa’s arid Sahel region as part of an operation to weed out extremist groups. The United States is also ramping up its presence in the Sahel region.