March 19, 2015 / 11:24 AM / 3 years ago

Mali arrests three over deadly militant attack on restaurant

BAMAKO (Reuters) - Malian security forces have arrested three people suspected of complicity in a militant attack on a restaurant in the capital on March 7 that killed a French citizen, a Belgian security officer and three Malians.

A security source close to the investigation said on Thursday authorities arrested two shopkeepers and an employee at a transport company who all lived close to a suspect who died in a shootout with security forces a week ago.

Mohamed Tamirou Cisse was fatally wounded when a grenade he was carrying went off during the battle with security agents trying to arrest him in Bamako’s Magnambougou neighborhood..

A Sahara-based Islamist group, al-Mourabitoun, said it staged the restaurant attack, the first of its kind for years in the West African state’s capital. It highlighted the continued radical Islamist threat in Mali two years after French forces helped retake northern territory from al Qaeda-linked militants.

Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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