“Mauritania: Terrorist cell said linked to Al Qaeda dismantled, police,” from IRIN, :
NOUAKCHOTT, 28 April (IRIN) – The government of Mauritania claims to have arrested the leaders of a terrorist cell that the US military has linked to Al Qaeda.
The detainees are allegedly part of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), close to the outlawed Armed Islamic Group (GIA) that has operated in neighbouring Algeria for more than a decade, said a government statement issued this week.
“The dismantling of this structure has entered a new phase with the arrest on Monday … of the main leaders of the organisation,” read the statement.
The statement said seven people had been arrested but police sources said 18 suspects had been placed under arrest in two days of raids against alleged Islamists.