Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Tourist resort in Mali's capital attacked by suspected jihadists

Tourist resort in Mali's capital attacked by suspected jihadists

Insecurity is spreading in Mali and across its borders as the number of militant attacks rose and new armed groups emerged over the past year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a report published last week.

Suspected jihadists attacked a hotel resort Sunday in Mali's capital, taking hostages at a spot popular with foreigners on the weekends.

The violence came about a week after the U.S. State Department warned of "possible future attacks on Western diplomatic missions, other locations in Bamako that Westerners frequent".

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

Earlier this month, the US Embassy in Bamako had issued a travel warning on its website, saying there was an increased security threat to Westerners.

Security ministry spokesman Baba Cisse said: "Security forces are in place".

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Al-Qaeda's North African arm, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), said it was behind that siege.

The Kangaba, located on the eastern edge of Bamako, boasts accommodation in hut-style rooms, as well as restaurants and swimming pools, according to its website. A tourist resort popular with Westerners in the same area was reportedly the target of Sunday's attack.

This is a developing story and will continue to be updated.

The U.N. official said those at the resort when the attack began included people affiliated with the French military mission as well as the U.N. But the jihadists have continued to mount numerous attacks on civilians and the army, as well as on French and United Nations forces still stationed there.

Malian soldiers and troops from France's Bakhane counter-terrorist team have arrived at the scene.

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

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