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Mali forces kill five militants involved in hotel attack: minister

Mali forces kill five militants involved in hotel attack: minister”

At least six people were killed in an attack on a tourist complex outside Mali's capital city of Bamako, police said.

In an earlier statement, Mali's Ministry of Security and Civil Protection said the resort attack was carried out by "armed individuals, certainly terrorists".

Malian special forces, assisted by the Minusma blue helmets, have cordoned off the zone where the tourist complex is located, while the attackers seem to have taken refuge on a hill within the area.

Traore added that the militants had some accomplices who had not been killed or detained.

A Malian official said Monday that two died in the attack and the four assailants were killed.

Those at the resort when the attack began included people affiliated with the French military mission, as well as the United Nations and European Union missions in the country, said a United Nations official who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

"During their exchange, he conveyed France's full support to Mali's president during this ordeal", said Macron's office. The statement said a Malian anti-terror force was on the scene.

Mali has been unstable for years, ever since an extremist uprising in northern Mali in 2012 put much of the country into the hands of Islamist and other rebel groups.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which took place amid the final week of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

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.

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

In November 2015, terrorists attacked a different hotel in Bamako, taking 100 people hostage and eventually leaving 20 dead.

Two regional groups, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and al-Mourabitoun, claimed responsibility for the 2015 attack.



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