AS IT HAPPENED: Mali luxury resort attack

2017-06-18 21:30

A tourist resort in Mali popular with Westerners is under attack by gunmen. Follow the live update here.


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Last Updated at 20:27
18 Jun 21:59

18 Jun 21:58

Here is a quick summary according to AP:

Bamako - Suspected jihadists launched an attack on Sunday on a hotel resort in Mali's capital, taking hostages at a spot popular with foreigners on the weekends.

The number of casualties was unclear in the assault, which continued through the afternoon, authorities said.

Gunfire rang out at the Campement Kangaba on the outskirts of Bamako, according to a security official with the UN mission known as MINUSMA. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to journalists.

"I heard gunfire coming from the camp and I saw people running out of the tourist site," said Modibo Diarra, who lives nearby.

"I learned that it was a terrorist attack."

Malian soldiers succeeded in entering the site, according to Commandant Modibo Traore, a spokesperson for the Malian special forces in the former French colony.

"The operation is ongoing and we estimate that there are between three and four assailants," he said.

The UN official said those at the resort when the attack began included people affiliated with the French military mission as well as the UN.

The French president's office, the defense minister's office and the French military would not comment immediately on the attack or on media reports saying that French forces are intervening.

The French Foreign Ministry would not say whether any French citizens were hurt or otherwise involved in the attack in the West African country.French military spokesperson Colonel Patrik Steiger said he had "strictly no information" about French military involvement in the incident in Bamako.

He said there are no French troops based in Bamako, but about 2 000 French troops based in northern Mali fighting Islamic extremists.

France intervened in Mali in 2013 to oust Islamic extremists who had seized control of the major northern towns the year before.

While the militants were officially ousted, they have continued to launch regular attacks on UN peacekeeping and Malian military sites.

Sunday's violence came about a week after the US State Department warned of "possible future attacks on Western diplomatic missions, other locations in Bamako that Westerners frequent.

"Religious extremism in Mali once was limited to northern areas, although in recent years the jihadists have spread violence farther south, including a devastating attack on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako in November 2015.

That attack left 20 dead — six Malians and 14 foreigners.

18 Jun 21:53

Latest from AFP:

 Two people were killed in a jihadist attack on a tourist resort outside the Malian capital on Sunday, while special forces troops freed about 20 hostages seized by the gunmen, the country's security minister said.

"It is a jihadist attack. Malian special forces intervened and about 20 hostages have been released," Salif Traore told AFP.

"Unfortunately for the moment there are two dead, including a Franco-Gabonese."

18 Jun 21:39

Al Jazeera: Fatalities have been reported in Mali following an attack on a popular tourist resort outside the capital, Bamako, according to officials and witnesses.

Mali's security ministry said at least two people were killed.  

18 Jun 21:36

18 Jun 21:23

18 Jun 21:22

18 Jun 21:20

18 Jun 21:12

According to AP: The official with the UN mission known as MINUSMA, said people had been killed and wounded but gave no immediate toll.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to journalists.

Officials from the French military mission in Mali, the European Union and the UN also were there this weekend, he added.

Sunday's violence came about a week after the US State Department warned of "possible future attacks on Western diplomatic missions, other locations in Bamako that Westerners frequent".

18 Jun 21:07
At least two people are thought to have died as gunmen stage an attack the Le Campement de Kangaba resort in Dougourakoro, just outside the capital of Bamako, reports itv.

18 Jun 21:03

18 Jun 21:00
The EU Training Mission in Mali has described the incident as a terror attack and said it is assisting local forces, says the UK Independent. 

18 Jun 20:56
Security forces still battling the attackers, says an AFP report

18 Jun 20:55

AFP report: Suspected jihadists are behind an attack on a tourist resort popular with Westerners on the edge of the Malian capital Bamako, a security ministry official told AFP."

There is an attack by presumed jihadists on the Kangaba camp," he said, confirming that Malian special forces, backed up by French and UN soldiers, "have sealed off the area and are in the process of organising operations" against the attackers, the official said, requesting anonymity.

18 Jun 20:50
Le Campement is located on the outskirts of the capital, about 30 minutes from downtown Bamako.

18 Jun 20:43

According to Sky News Security ministry spokesperson Baba Cisse says: "Security forces are in place. Campement Kangaba is blocked off and an operation is under way.

"The situation is under control."

18 Jun 20:40

18 Jun 20:39
BBC report that Malian troops and soldiers from France's Bakhane counter-terrorist force are at the site.

18 Jun 20:35

18 Jun 20:35

18 Jun 20:35

According to AFP: The west African country has been battling a jihadist insurgency for several years, with Islamist fighters roaming the north and centre of Mali.

In November 2015, gunmen took guests and staff hostage at the luxury Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako in a siege that left at least 20 people dead, including 14 foreigners.The attack was claimed by Al-Qaeda's North African affiliate Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

A state of emergency has been renewed several times since the Radisson Blu attack, most recently in April when it was extended for six months.

In 2012 Mali's north fell under the control of jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda who hijacked an ethnic Tuareg-led rebel uprising, though the Islamists were largely ousted by a French-led military operation in January 2013.

But jihadists have mounted numerous attacks on civilians and the army, as well as on French and UN forces still stationed there.

18 Jun 20:35

A tourist camp popular with Westerners in the Malian capital was under attack on Sunday, according to witnesses and an AFP journalist.

Malian troops and soldiers from France's Bakhane counter-terrorist force headed to the site on the edge of Bamako, where nearby residents reported hearing shots fired while smoke billowed into the air.

There was no information immediately available on any casualties.

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