4 killed in attack by extremists at Mali resort

4 killed in attack by extremists at Mali resort”

Officials said two people were killed as counterterrorism forces battled with up to four suspected jihadists at Le Campement Kangaba, a hotel east of Bamako that is favoured by foreigners and wealthy locals seeking weekend getaways.

Gunmen shouting Allahu akbar stormed a luxury resort near the Mali capital yesterday and took hostages, the country's security ministry said.

A Defence Forces spokesman said: "All members of the Defence Forces have been located following a terrorist attack at Le Campement Hotel in Dougourakoro, Mali".

French troops and a 10,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping force have battled to stabilise the former French colony, which is riven by ethnic conflict and plagued by dozens of armed groups. Mali security forces killed five of the assailants, the security minister said on Monday.

A Malian soldier and another Malian national who worked for the European Union mission were also among the victims, along with a dual French-Gabonese citizen whose name has not been released.

Witnesses said that Malian and global troops have rushed to the scene.

On 20 November 2015, the Radisson Hotel in Bamako was the target of a similar attack, killing 20 tourists and two assailants. Four of the attackers were killed, according to the Mali Ministry of Security.

The U.S. State Department warned about a week ago of possible attacks on Western diplomatic missions and other locations in Bamako frequented by Westerners.

"At this hour, all of the terrorists have been killed".

Religious extremism in Mali once was limited to northern areas, prompting the French military in 2013 to lead a military operation to oust jihadists from power in the major towns in the north. So far, no group has yet claimed responsibility.

The most recent one, which came in April, has been extended for six months.

That attack was claimed by Al-Qaeda's North African affiliate Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

In 2015, a peace accord was signed between the government and the Tuareg coalition of rebel groups, providing for a range of concessions, such as the broader representation of the northerners and independence fighters in government institutions.

Authorities in Mali say the death toll has risen to five people following a terror attack on a luxury resort area popular with foreigners in Mali's capital.

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