Gunfire heard at Mali resort area popular with foreigners

Attackers have stormed a tourist lodge outside the capital city of Bamako, Mali, which is said to be popular with Western holidaymakers.

The interior ministry said that one of the victims was a dual French-Gabonese citizen but the identity of the other person killed was not immediately known.

The assault on the Kangaba Le Campement resort comes after a similar strike less than two years ago on a luxury hotel in Bamako, which lies in the south of the troubled country.

"Security forces are in place".

"The situation is under control". The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

"I heard gunfire coming from the camp and I saw people running out of the tourist site", said Modibo Diarra, who lives nearby.

Mali's Ministry of Security and Civil Protection said "armed individuals, certainly terrorists" attacked the resort.

Malian soldiers later succeeded in entering the resort area, according to Commandant Modibo Traore, a spokesperson for the Malian special forces in the former French colony.


"They [the armed men] exchanged gunshots with members of the special anti-terrorist force (FORSAT) who had arrived just a few minutes after the attack".

Al-Qaeda's North African affiliate Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) had claimed responsibility for the attack.

A security officials earlier said Malian special forces, backed up by French and United Nations soldiers, "have sealed off the area and are in the process of organising operations" against the attackers.

French President Emmanuel Macron was informed about the attack and was following the events carefully, according to an official in his office.

Security has gradually worsened across Mali since French forces pushed back allied Islamist and Tuareg rebel fighters in 2013 from swathes of the north they had occupied the previous year.

Sunday's 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".

In a video released in March, jihadists said those two were joining together along with two Mali-based terror groups.

In November 2015, at least 20 people died in a siege at the luxury Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako.

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