(AFP) – Aug 7, 2010
BAMAKO — Intelligence officials from six West African countries gathered in the Malian capital to discuss the fight against Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), according to intelligence sources.
Representatives from Mali, Niger, Chad, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Nigeria participated in the meeting.
"Security in the Sahara-Sahel region is an issue for everybody, but the objective of this meeting was to strengthen ties in southern Saharan countries to improve efficiency," one of the participants at the meeting told AFP.
"Information and intelligence must be at the heart of this fight against insecurity and terrorism," said the source.
AQIM announced on July 25 that it had executed French hostage Michel Germaneau, who it kidnapped in Niger and held in Mali. The group is still holding two Spanish hostages, who were taken in November 2009.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called on French people to avoid travelling in the region.
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