World 2 Dead As Suspected Jihadists Attack Mali Tourist Resort


Suspected jihadists crying "Allahu Akbar" stormed a tourist resort popular with foreigners on the edge of the Malian capital Bamako on Sunday, briefly seizing hostages and leaving at least two people dead.

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

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and another militant group claimed responsibility for an attack on a hotel in Mali's capital in late 2015 in which 20 people were killed. Violent extremists carried out 201 attacks against the Malian security forces, United Nations peacekeepers and French troops since June past year, mainly in the north but increasingly in the center of the country, according to the report.

Security minister Salif Traore said 20 hostages were freed after an operation by special forces, which have surrounded the resort.

Two attackers were killed, but it was unclear then whether security forces killed them or whether they blew themselves up, mission spokesman Olivier Salgado said at the time.

The landlocked West African country has been fighting a jihadist insurgency for several years, with Islamist fighters roaming the north and centre of Mali.

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.

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 and European Union missions in the country.

A tourist resort 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 are at the site. It has been targeted constantly by jihadists, with dozens of peacekeepers killed.