Malian security forces have killed at least four militants involved in an attack on a resort outside Mali’s capital, Bamako, the country’s Security Minister Salif Traore said Monday.
Two people were killed when gunmen stormed Le Campement Kangaba in Dougourakoro, Sunday, a resort on the edge of Bamako popular among Westerners.
Security forces rescued more than 36 residents, including 13 French citizens.
Those at the resort included people affiliated with the French military mission and the U.N. and European Union missions in the country.
There are no French troops based in Bamako, but about 2,000 French troops are based in northern Mali, fighting Islamic extremists. A 10,000 U.N. peacekeeping force in Mali is tasked to stabilize the country, a former French colony, France intervened in 2013 to push back jihadists and allied Tuareg rebels who has taken over the country’s desert in the 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 stated on Monday.
State Department warning
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.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the assault in the final week of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Religious extremism in Mali once was limited to northern areas, although in recent years the jihadists have spread violence farther south. In November 2015, 22 people were killed in an assault on Bamako’s upscale Radisson Blu hotel.
Two regional groups, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and al-Mourabitoun, claimed responsibility for the 2015 attack.