North Africa’s violent week

An attack on Algerian police by the militant group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was the latest in a wave of violence in North Africa this week. It followed two major incidents in Somalia. On June 17, Mogadishu’s police chief was among those killed in heavy fighting between hardline Islamic militia and pro-government ...

584644_090619_militant5.jpg
584644_090619_militant5.jpg

An attack on Algerian police by the militant group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was the latest in a wave of violence in North Africa this week. It followed two major incidents in Somalia.

On June 17, Mogadishu's police chief was among those killed in heavy fighting between hardline Islamic militia and pro-government forces in the city. The following day, the Somali security minister was killed along with at least 22 others in a car bombing of a hotel in Beledweyne, north of Mogadishu. The last month has seen a push in Mogadishu by anti-government forces like the man pictured above. 

An attack on Algerian police by the militant group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was the latest in a wave of violence in North Africa this week. It followed two major incidents in Somalia.

On June 17, Mogadishu’s police chief was among those killed in heavy fighting between hardline Islamic militia and pro-government forces in the city. The following day, the Somali security minister was killed along with at least 22 others in a car bombing of a hotel in Beledweyne, north of Mogadishu. The last month has seen a push in Mogadishu by anti-government forces like the man pictured above. 

Interestingly, while Somalia’s rebels, including some hardline Islamists have often downplayed alleged Al Qaeda connections and told Osama bin Laden to stay out of their business, AQIM in Algeria was formed from extremist remnants from the country’s civil war in the 1990s and explicitly joined Al Qaeda in 2006, showing their allegiance with the name change. 

Reuters has a timeline of insurgent attacks in Algeria over the past two years.  Earlier this month AQIM killed a British man they kidnapped in Niger. 

MUSTAFA ABDI/AFP/Getty Images

<p> Michael Wilkerson, a journalist and former Fulbright researcher in Uganda, is a graduate student in politics at Oxford University, where he is a Marshall Scholar. </p>

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