Suspected jihadists hit resort in Mali's capital

Marsha Scott
June 19, 2017

A devastating attack on the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako later that year left 20 dead - six Malians and 14 foreigners.

A tourist resort near Bamako, the capital of Mali, has been attacked, according to a spokesman at the country's security ministry and witnesses. "Campement Kangaba is blocked off and an operation is underway", Security Ministry spokesman Baba Cisse said by telephone.

Suspected jihadists in Mali's capital attacked a resort popular with foreigners Sunday and are believed to have taken hostages, a security official said.

The landlocked West African country has been fighting a jihadist insurgency for several years, with Islamist fighters roaming the north and centre of Mali.

Gunmen stormed Le Campement Kangaba in Dougourakoro, to the east of the capital Bamako, a resort foreign residents often visit for weekend breaks. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and another militant group claimed responsibility for an attack on a Bamako hotel in late 2015 in which 20 people were killed.

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Earlier this month, the U.S. Embassy in Mali warned Americans of "a possible increased threat of attacks against Western diplomatic missions, places of worship, and other locations in Bamako where Westerners frequent". A tourist resort popular with Westerners in the same area was reportedly the target of Sunday's attack.

Officials from the French military mission in Mali, the European Union and the United Nations also were there this weekend, he added.

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. AQIM claimed the assault, saying the gunmen were from the Al-Murabitoun group of Algerian extremist Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

Malian troops and French counter-terrorist forces are on site.

It has been targeted constantly by jihadists, with dozens of peacekeepers killed, including five on Saturday.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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