Gunfire heard at Mali resort area popular with foreigners

Olive Rios
June 19, 2017

Two people have been killed after gunmen attacked a luxury tourist resort popular with Westerners.

Gunmen stormed the luxury Le Campement Kangaba resort on Sunday, taking hostages at the popular hotel, which lies east of the capital Bamako.

Gunfire first rang out at the Campement Kangaba on the outskirts of Bamako in the late afternoon, according to a security official with the United Nations mission known as MINUSMA.

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

Residents nearby said they heard gunshots and could see smoke. He also left behind "bottles containing some explosive substances", the security ministry said.

Mali's Ministry of Security and Civil Protection said "armed individuals, certainly terrorists" attacked the resort. "The situation is under control", he added. In late 2015, militants attacked a Radisson hotel outside of the capital city of Bamako, leaving more than 20 dead.

One of those killed is a French national, while details of the other casualty are not yet known.

"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.

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

The west African country has been battling a jihadist insurgency for several years, with Islamist fighters roaming the north and centre of Mali. Some 20 people were killed in that attack, including 14 foreigners.

Mali has been in a state of emergency since the Radisson Blu attack.

Continue to monitor news regarding attack at Hotel Kangaba "Le Campement" #Mali.

In 2012, Mali's north was seized by jihadi groups linked to al-Qaida who hijacked a rebel uprising by ethnic Tuaregs. Many of these attacks have focused on areas that are populated by foreigners and Westerners.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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