Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Suspected jihadists attack resort outside Mali's capital

At least six people have been reported killed, including five foreigners, in an attack on a tourist complex outside Bamako, the capital of Mali.

The attack occurred on Sunday afternoon when unidentified militants launched attack at the Kangaba Le Campement resort on the suburb of capital Bamako.

One of those killed was a French-Gabonese citizen, Mr Traore added.

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to the leader of Mali after the attack and pledged France's full support for the country, Macron's office said on Monday.

"There was an exchange of gunfire with special anti-terrorist forces (FORSAT) who arrived only a few minutes after the attack began", Mali's ministry of security said in a statement.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came amid the final week of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. "The situation is under control".

However, the French and MINUSMA's force of 10,000 have struggled to stabilise the country and attacks on foreigners and peacekeepers have continued spreading further south beyond the northern areas where the militants have strongholds. "Campement Kangaba is blocked off and an operation is underway", Security Ministry spokesman Baba Cisse said by telephone. More than 30 people managed to escape though at least two people were killed, authorities said.

An unknown number of people were injured and taken to a hospital after the attack on Le Campement resort, the source said. There also were believed to be hostages inside the luxury resort area.

That attack, which killed 20 people, caused the government to instate a state of emergency which has been in place more or less ever since. That attack was claimed by Al-Qaeda's North African affiliate Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Sunday's violence came about a week after the USA state department warned of possible attacks on Western diplomatic missions and other locations in Bamako that Westerners frequent.

"It's year five since Mali first erupted as a jihadist arena", said Kamran Bokhari, a senior fellow with the Center for Global Policy and analyst with Geopolitical Futures.

Another militant group led by the Malian jihadist Iyad Ag Ghaly, a former leader of the Ansar Dine Islamists, has also claimed multiple attacks on domestic and foreign forces since its formation - particularly against the 12,000-member United Nations force known as MINUSMA.

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