Resort outside Mali's capital under attack

Xavier Trudeau
Juin 19, 2017

"Campement Kangaba is blocked off and an operation is under way", said Baba Cisse, the spokesman for Mali's security ministry.

A witness told local television ORTM said he saw a man arrive on a motorcycle who "started shooting at the crowd" followed by "two or three people" who came in another vehicle.

"At first we thought they were armed bandits but we know how armed bandits operate, they don't hold territory, so now we think it is a terrorist attack", Mali's Security Minister Salif Traore told journalists outside the resort's entrance to the resort late on Sunday, part of which was on fire. He estimated there were three or four assailants.

According to the security ministry, "one of the terrorists was able to escape, after being injured".

Security Message: Ongoing attack at Hotel Kangaba "Le Campement" 30 min southeast of #Bamako, #Mali. The identity of the other person killed was not immediately known.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, which came amid the final week of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In 2012 Mali's north fell under the control of jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda who hijacked an ethnic Tuareg-led rebel uprising, though the Islamists were largely ousted by a French-led military operation in January 2013. But the militants have continued targeting Malian forces and peacekeepers, making it the deadliest United Nations mission in the world.

French President Emmanuel Macron was informed about the attack and was following the events carefully, according to an official in his office.

Niang said Bamako will continue to be a target in the coming weeks because "some jihadists in the past have been threatening the way alcohol is being exhibited openly by foreign troops and their allies across the country".

In recent years, the jihadists have become even more brazen, attacking sites frequented by Westerners. In March 2015, five people died when militants hit a popular restaurant in the capital.

That attack was claimed by the militant group al-Mourabitoun, which said it collaborated with an al-Qaida affiliate in the violence.

Associated Press writers Krista Larson in Dakar, Senegal, and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed.

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