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2 people dead as gunmen attack Mali tourist resort

19 June 2017

At least six people have been reported killed, including five foreigners, in an attack on a tourist complex outside Bamako, the capital of Mali.

Gunmen stormed Le Campement Kangaba in Dougourakoro, to the east of the capital Bamako, a resort foreign residents often visit for weekend breaks, in the afternoon.

Security minister Salif Traore said 20 hostages were freed after an operation by special forces, which have surrounded the resort.

This is published unedited from the ANI feed.

Andrea de Georgio, a freelance journalist in Bamako, also quoted officials as saying that at least two people were killed.

There were three or four assailants, according to the Associated Press.

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

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

Responsibility for that attack was claimed by two different jihadi alliances, one headed by the Islamic State and the other by Al Qaeda.

The U.S. Embassy in Bamako warned American citizens that there was an increased threat of attack against locations in Bamako frequented by Westerners earlier in June.

A security ministry official said government troops "have sealed off the area and are in the process of organising operations" against the attackers.

Mali authorities say suspected jihadists launched an attack Sunday on a hotel resort in Mali's capital, taking hostages at a spot popular with foreigners on the weekends.

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Extremist violence, though once limited to Mali's north, has spread farther south in recent years. In another hotel attack in November 2015, gunmen took staff and guests hostage at the Radisson Blu in Bamako, a siege which resulted in the deaths of 20 people.

Since the attack at the Radisson Blu, Mali has been in a state of emergency that has been extended several times.

That attack was jointly claimed by both the regional al-Qaida affiliate and a group known as Al Mourabitoun, which was founded by Moktar Belmoktar after he fell out with al-Qaida leaders.

Mali, a former French colony, has been battling Islamist extremists for several years.

But militants have continued to mount numerous attacks on civilians and the army, as well as on French and United Nations forces still stationed there.

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2 people dead as gunmen attack Mali tourist resort