Militant groups are renowned for having no conscience at all, but in a rare feat, an al Qaeda affiliate has issued an apology to Malian after a landmine led to the deaths of 10 travelers on a bus.
Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) - an umbrella group for al Qaeda-linked militants in West Africa and the Maghreb - said it had not intended to attack the bus and offered its condolences and sympathy to the relatives of those killed.
The group which is responsible for a number of attacks across West Africa said Wednesday as it apologized for the deaths of those who died in Mali as a bus they were traveling in hit a landmine. Apparently, the landmine was meant for the “French occupier and its acolytes.”
With deep sadness and grief, we received news about the killing of a group of our brothers and children
The bus was traveling through a region in central Mali notorious for jihadist violence despite French-led military efforts to repel the militants. They were about 60 passengers on board, 14 people died and 15 others were injured in the Sept. 3 attack, according to the government.
The apology from the Group of Support for Muslims and Islam, known as JNIM, was first published by its media outlet Az-Zallaqa and shared on social media.
Though rare, al-Qaeda and its affiliates have apologized for incidents in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. For Mali, plagued by Islamist violence since 2012, it’s a first.
The current French intervention in Mali represents more troubles for a country that is dealing with harsh divisions along ethnic, cultural and religious lines. The French have chosen to take a side in the conflict and victory for that side will not produce long-lasting solutions for the nation. As long as one side prevails over the other, bitterness and perfect excuses for another civil conflict will remain.
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