Suspected jihadists attack Mali tourist resort, UN official says

At least two people have been killed after suspected jihadists attacked a popular tourist resort on the outskirts of Mali's capital. More than 30 people managed to escape though at least two people were killed, authorities said. A Malian military spokesman had said there were believed to be several people inside the Campement Kangaba near Bamako.

Residents nearby said they heard shots being fired, and smoke could be seen rising from the resort, AFP reported.

"It is a militant attack".

Malian soldiers later succeeded in entering the resort area, according to Commandant Modibo Traore, a spokesman for the Malian special forces in the former French colony. He later told journalists that "we have recovered the bodies of two attackers who were killed" and were searching for the bodies of two others. An attacker had also been wounded and fled, leaving a sub machine gun and six bottles of explosives behind, he said.

At least 14 people, both Malians and foreigners, were injured, the ministry said.

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

On November 29, 2015, terrorists attacked the Radisson Blu Hotel also in the capital killing 20.

Responsibility for that attack was claimed by two different jihadi alliances, one headed by the Islamic State and the other by Al Qaeda. The Kangaba, located on the eastern edge of Bamako, boasts accommodation in hut-style rooms, as well as restaurants and swimming pools, according to its website.

It was not immediately known how many guests were there at the time of the attack.

"Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners". AQIM claimed the assault, saying the gunmen were from the Al-Murabitoun group of Algerian extremist Mokhtar Belmokhtar. "The special forces have now sealed off the perimeters of the site and are in the process of securing it".

The United Nations mission to the country, known as MINUSMA, tells NPR the Malian security forces are in charge of the operation.

It has been targeted constantly by jihadists, with dozens of peacekeepers killed, including five on Saturday.

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