Terror attack under way at resort popular with westerners in Mali

A tourist resort in Mali popular with Westerners is under attack by gunmen, a spokesman at the security ministry has told Reuters.

The security forces said the operations at Le Campement, outside the capital Bamako, are ongoing as witnesses reported the sound of gunfire, the Independent reported.

Malian government officials said about 30 people managed to escape.

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.

But jihadists have mounted numerous attacks on civilians and the army, as well as on French and United Nations forces still stationed there. Security forces were battling the attackers at the Kangaba resort after the assault, with nearby residents reporting hearing shots while smoke billowed into the air, with at least one building ablaze. Campement Kangaba is blocked off and an operation is under way, ' Cisse said by telephone. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

Malian soldiers succeeded in entering the site, according to Commandant Modibo Traore, a spokesman for the Malian special forces in the former French colony.

"The US Embassy informs US citizens of a possible increased threat of attacks against Western diplomatic missions, places of worship, and other locations in Bamako where Westerners frequent".

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

In March the same year, a grenade and gun attack on La Terrasse nightclub in Bamako killed five people, including foreigners.

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

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