Macron vows full support of France for Mali after attack

Claudine Rigal
Juin 20, 2017

Mali said four guests and one member of the security forces died in a militant attack on a resort popular with foreigners on the outskirts of the capital, Bamako, on Sunday, underscoring rising insecurity in the West African nation.

Federica Mogherini, the EU's head of foreign affairs, confirmed that two of her staff had been killed during the assault, a Malian woman and a Portuguese man. Lisbon's armed forces said that the man was a soldier who had been working with the EU's military training mission.

The African Union condemned the attack and reiterated its commitment to support Mali in combating terrorism.

The holiday resort Le Campement de Kangaba is popular among Western tourists and expats. It's a resort popular with westerners. Three others subsequently arrived in a vehicle and began firing their weapons. The one victim that was killed had French-Gabon nationality, the other came from Angola, according to the Volkskrant.

The recently formed Mali-based Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi websites.

But analysts said security forces appeared to have responded quicker this time than in previous such attacks. It was not immediately clear what was burning, although jihadists in other attacks have set cars ablaze.

Eight people were injured, including six members of the security forces and two civilians, while 36 people were rescued unhurt.

Mali has been in a state of emergency nearly continuously since the attack against a five-star hotel in the capital on November 20th, 2015, which left 22 people dead.

Yesterday's attack is the latest in a series of high-profile assaults in north and west Africa, targeting locals and tourists.

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.

"This was without doubt a terrorist attack", he told the radio station.

In November 2015, more than 20 people were killed in an attack that targeted a luxury hotel in Bamako, when around 170 people were taken hostage by terrorists.

Mali has been fighting a jihadist insurgency for several years, with Islamist fighters roaming the country's north and centre.

The unrest has continued despite a 2015 peace deal between the government and Tuareg-led rebels offering partial autonomy to the north.

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