29 October 2020 :
A Malian court on 28 October 2020 handed a death sentence to a suspected jihadist and his co-defendant, his lawyer said, after he pleaded guilty to shooting five people to death in a 2015 attack and planning two other attacks targeting Westerners that killed 37.
In a court appearance in Bamako, Fawaz Ould Ahmed described in detail how he carried out the attack on La Terrace restaurant in March 2015.
He said he was also involved in planning a raid that killed 17 at Hotel Byblos in the town of Sevare in August and another that killed 20 people at Bamako's Radisson Blu hotel that November.
"I regret nothing," Ould Ahmed told the court, adding that he had been seeking revenge for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad printed in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The court later found him and his co-defendant guilty and sentenced both to death, Ould Ahmed's lawyer Tiessolo Konare told Reuters, vowing to appeal the ruling.
Ould Ahmed described taking a taxi to La Terrasse restaurant and carrying out the shooting.
"On arrival I went to the toilets, put on a balaclava, took out my Kalashnikov and shot those unbelievers," he said.
At the time, militant groups Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and al Mourabitoun claimed responsibility for the attacks in Mali as well as for attacks on a restaurant in neighbouring Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou and a beach resort town in Ivory Coast.
Ould Ahmed was captured in Bamako in 2016 as he was preparing to carry out another attack armed with grenades and a suitcase filled with weapons on behalf of al Mourabitoun, according to local authorities.