A file picture taken on Jan. 17, 2013, an undated grab from a video obtained by ANI Mauritanian news agency reportedly shows former Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) emir Mokhtar Belmokhtar speaking at an undisclosed location. AFP / HO / ANI
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France's defense minister said Friday that notorious Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar was "likely behind" a deadly attack at a luxury hotel in Mali but acknowledged it was not certain.Al-Mourabitoun has staged several attacks in Mali and the region, but Belmokhtar has had a troubled relationship with Al-Qaeda.Al-Mourabitoun launched an assault in August on a hotel in the town of Sevare, 600 km (375 miles) northeast of Bamako, in which 17 people including five workers for the United Nations mission in Mali were killed.The militants were scattered by a French offensive in January 2013 but insurgents have continued to carry out sporadic attacks despite the presence of some 3,000 French troops in the region and several thousand U.N. peacekeepers in Mali.
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