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By Tiemoko Diallo and Adama Diarra BAMAKO (Reuters) - A group headed by former al Qaeda fighter Mokhtar Belmokhtar has claimed responsibility for a suicide raid on U.N. peacekeepers in northern Mali in which at least three people were killed. Mauritanian news website Alakhbar posted an audio statement claiming the attack on behalf of the armed Islamist group al-Mourabitoun. "We, the Mourabitoun group, announce the martyrdom operation that one of our knights, Ibrahim al-Ansari, undertook at the headquarters of the Nigerien forces," said the low-quality recording, posted on the website on Friday. Its authenticity could not be verified, but Alakhbar has often posted statements from Islamist militants in Mali.
ROME (Reuters) - As many as 700 people are feared dead after a boat carrying migrants capsized off the Libyan coast overnight, the Times of Malta reported on Sunday. Twenty eight people were rescued in the incident, which happened in an area just off Libyan waters, 120 miles south of the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, the newspaper's website reported. The emergency was declared at about midnight. The boat is believed to have capsized when migrants moved to one side of the vessel when a merchant ship approached.