A group that tracks jihadi activity online says Mali-based Islamic extremists have claimed responsibility for an attack on a U.N. base that killed five peacekeepers.

SITE Intelligence Group said Ansar Dine issued a statement on Telegram describing Friday's attack in the northern city of Kidal as a warning to France and its supporters. The statement said a Mauritanian fighter detonated a car bomb inside the base while other fighters attacked it with rockets.

Led by a Tuareg, Iyad Ag Ghali, a native of the Kidal region, Ansar Dine emerged in 2012 as a religious alternative to the largely secular Tuareg separatists operating in northern Mali. Ansar Dine allied itself with al-Qaida and took over much of Mali's north before France led a military intervention in 2013.