Category : Senegal

(W Post) Al-Qaeda affiliates are threatening West Africa’s most peaceful cities

DAKAR, Senegal ”” In a city where nightclubs and mosques coexist peacefully, Islamist violence long felt like a foreign problem ”” something residents watched on news clips from the Middle East or other parts of ­Africa.

“We just didn’t worry very much about it,” said Abdullaye Diene, the deputy imam of the country’s largest mosque. “Here you can spend your nights drinking at the disco and then shake the hand of the imam.”

But Senegal and its neighbors are facing a new threat from extremists moving far from their traditional strongholds in northwest Africa. Since November, militant groups have killed dozens of people in assaults on hotels, cafes and a beachside resort in West Africa, passing through porous borders with impunity.

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