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Clinton appears to link Al-Qaeda to Libya attack

Published on Sep 27, 2012 12:49 PM
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during a meeting on the Sahel as part of the 67th session of the General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012. -- PHOTO: AP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Confusion reigned on Wednesday as United States (US) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared to suggest for the first time that militants close to Al-Qaeda were linked to an attack on a US mission in Libya.

During a speech to a high-level meeting on the crisis in the west African Sahel region, Clinton warned the vast desert area was becoming a powder keg with militants moving into the lawless area and creating instability.

"For some time, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other groups have launched attacks and kidnappings from northern Mali into neighbouring countries," Mrs Clinton told the meeting, convened by United Nations (UN) chief Ban Ki Moon.

"Now with a larger safe haven, and increased freedom for manoeuvre, terrorists are seeking to extend their reach and their networks in multiple directions.

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