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Extremists killed after deadly Mali tourist resort attack

Extremists killed after deadly Mali tourist resort attack”

Security forces killed at least four jihadis after the extremists attacked a resort spot popular with foreigners on the outskirts of Mali's capital Sunday in which two people were killed, the country's security minister said Monday.

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.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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

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"These are hard and dramatic hours which testify to how European and Africans are brothers and sisters in both the fight against terrorism and in the solidarity of our response to it", she said.

Mali's special forces arrived on the scene not long after the reports of gunfire erupting from Campement Kangaba, known for its three swimming pools and serene surroundings as an escape from the bustling capital's heat and traffic. Authorities said more than 30 people managed to escape although at least two people were killed, including a dual French-Gabonese citizen.

The Portuguese military says one of its soldiers on a European Union training mission in Mali has died in what it called a terrorist attack.

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

French troops and a 10,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping force have been battling to stabilize Mali, a former French colony, ever since France intervened in 2013 to push back jihadists and allied Tuareg rebels who had taken over the country's desert north a year earlier.

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to the leader of Mali after the attack and pledged France's full support for the country, Macron's office said on Monday. But the militants have continued targeting Malian forces and peacekeepers, making it the deadliest United Nations mission in the world.

In recent years, the extremists have become more brazen, attacking sites frequented by Westerners.

On 20 November 2015, the Radisson Hotel in Bamako was the target of a similar attack, killing 20 tourists and two assailants.



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