Mali attack: Two dead as gunmen storm tourist resort
June 18, 2017 5:28 pm
Gunmen have stormed a tourist resort in Mali popular with Westerners and two people are dead, the country’s security minister has said.
“It is a jihadist attack. Malian special forces intervened and about 20 hostages have been released,” Salif Traore told AFP.
“Unfortunately for the moment there are two dead, including a Franco-Gabonese.”
Government troops battled the gunmen at the luxury resort Le Campement Kangaba, east of the capital Bamako.
“Security forces are in place. Campement Kangaba is blocked off and an operation is under way,” a security ministry spokesman told Reuters earlier.
Malian special forces intervened, backed by UN soldiers and troops from a French counter-terrorism force.
Witness Boubacar Sangare was just outside the compound as the attack unfolded.
“Westerners were fleeing the encampment while two plainclothes police exchanged fire with the assailants,” he said.
“There were four national police vehicles and French soldiers in armoured vehicles on the scene.”
He added that a helicopter was circling overhead.
The European Union training mission in Mali, EUTMMALI, tweeted that it was aware of the attack and was supporting Malian security forces and assessing the situation.
Earlier this month, the US embassy in Bamako had warned of “possible future attacks on Western diplomatic missions, other locations in Bamako that Westerners frequent”.