Mali resort terror
Deadly jihad siege at tourist haven
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.