Two dead as terror gunmen take hostages at Mali resort
Two people have been killed after gunmen attacked a luxury tourist resort popular with Westerners.
Gunfire could be heard after up to four suspected jihadists took hostages at Le Campement Kangaba in Dougourakoro, near Mali’s capital Bamako.
Security minister Salif Traore said 20 hostages were freed after an operation by special forces, which have surrounded the resort.
Several of those rescued said the assailants shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the attack.
One of those killed was a French-Gabonese citizen, Mr Traore added.
Witness Boubacar Sangare, who was just outside the compound, said: “Westerners were fleeing the encampment while two plainclothes police exchanged fire with the assailants.
“There were four national police vehicles and French soldiers in armoured vehicles on the scene.”
The European Union training mission in Mali said it was aware of the attack, adding it was “supporting Malian Security Forces and assessing the situation”.
Last week, the US Embassy in Bamako warned of an increased threat of attacks in Bamako.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to the city as “terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks, including kidnaps”.
Mali has been fighting a jihadist insurgency for several years, with Islamist fighters active in the country’s northern and central regions.
In November 2015, at least 20 people died in a siege at the luxury Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako.
The attack was claimed by Al-Qaeda’s North African affiliate, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
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