Mali security minister: 4 jihadis killed in resort attack

Ruben Ruiz
June 19, 2017

Four assailants were killed by security forces, Mali's security minister said late yesterday, without specifying if more were on the run.

He added that a helicopter was circling overhead.

It was one of a series of shootings and bombings to sweep the country as part of an ongoing insurgency by Islamist militants in the north, which has worsened in recent months. "The situation is under control".

The resort attacked by the gunmen is a popular area visited by people from around the world.

One of the dead at the Le Campement Kangaba resort, which is popular with Western expatriates, was a French-Gabonese national, Mali security ministry spokesman Baba Cisse stated.

Malian security minister Salif Traore told AFP news agency that it was a jihadist attack, while conforming the casualties. "The anti-terrorist forces arrived on the scene immediately afterwards". About 30 people managed to escape though at least two people were killed as the assault continued into the evening, authorities said. Six Dutch were present during the attack, but escaped unharmed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed, ANP reports.

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Numerous victims are believed to have just finished worshipping at the Finsbury Park mosque after breaking the Ramadan fast. Following the incident, Prime Minister Theresa May said her thoughts were with those injured in "this bad incident".

Religious extremism in Mali was once limited to northern areas, prompting the French military in 2013 to lead a military operation to oust jihadis from power in the major towns in the north.

Another militant group led by the Malian jihadist Iyad Ag Ghaly, a former leader of the Ansar Dine Islamists, has also claimed multiple attacks on domestic and foreign forces since its formation - particularly against the 12,000-member United Nations force known as MINUSMA.

"The US Embassy informs US citizens of a possible increased threat of attacks against Western diplomatic missions, places of worship, and other locations in Bamako where Westerners frequent". Bamako has frequently has been the site of these attacks, particularly places where wealthy Malians and Westerners go to enjoy pools, cocktails, and other leisure activities.

In November 2015, at least 20 people were killed when gunmen took guests and staff hostage at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako.

Al-Qaida's North African affiliate, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for that attack.

Tensions erupted in Mali in 2012 following a failed coup and a Tuareg rebellion that ultimately allowed al-Qaeda-linked militant groups to take over the northern half of the country.

Other reports by GizPress

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