Mali re­sort ter­ror

Deadly ji­had siege at tourist haven

New York Post - - NEWS - By MARK MOORE

Ter­ror­ists stormed a lux­ury re­sort pop­u­lar with West­ern tourists in Mali on Sun­day, killing two peo­ple and briefly tak­ing hostages, ac­cord­ing to re­ports.

“It is a ji­hadist at­tack. Malian spe­cial forces in­ter­vened and about 20 hostages have been re­leased,” Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter Salif Traore told Agence France-Presse. “Un­for­tu­nately for the mo­ment, there are two dead, in­clud­ing a Franco-Gabonese.”

There were no im­me­di­ate de­tails on the other vic­tim.

Res­i­dents near the Le Cam­pe­ment Kangaba, out­side the Malian cap­i­tal of Ba­mako, said they heard gun­fire and saw plumes of white smoke and at least one build­ing on fire.

Some of the peo­ple res­cued said the gun­men shouted, “Al­lahu Ak­bar” — “God is Greatest” — dur­ing the as­sault, but so far, no group has claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“I heard gun­fire com­ing from the camp and I saw peo­ple run­ning out of the site,” Modibo Diarra, who lives nearby, told The As­so­ci­ated Press. “I learned that it was a ter­ror­ist at­tack.”

A Se­cu­rity Ministry spokesman ear­lier said Malian spe­cial forces, as­sisted by French and UN sol­diers, sealed off the re­sort in the land-locked African na­tion.

“Se­cu­rity forces are in place. Cam­pe­ment Kangaba is blocked off and an op­er­a­tion is un­der­way,” said spokesman Baba Cisse.

As many as four gun­men were in­volved in the as­sault, re­ports said.

The United States, which advises against trav­el­ing in Mali, had re­leased a warn­ing through its em­bassy there about an in­creased threat of at­tacks.

“Avoid vul­ner­a­ble lo­ca­tions with poor se­cu­rity mea­sures in place, in­clud­ing ho­tels, restau­rants, and churches,” the June 9 state­ment said.

Ter­ror groups as­so­ci­ated with al Qaeda briefly took con­trol of the north­ern part of Mali in 2012. Al Qaeda gun­men killed 20 peo­ple in a 2015 at­tack on the lux­ury Radis­son Blu ho­tel in Ba­mako.

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