Gunfire heard at Mali resort area popular with foreigners

  • Gunfire heard at Mali resort area popular with foreigners

Gunfire heard at Mali resort area popular with foreigners

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

"It is very exposed to danger", he said.

"Unfortunately for the moment, there are two dead, including a Franco-Gabonese".

Gunfire could be heard after up to four suspected jihadists took hostages at Le Campement Kangaba in Dougourakoro, near Mali's capital Bamako.

A source close to the case said the number of hostages freed was raised to 32, but there was no immediate information on their nationalities. He said there are no French troops based in Bamako, but about 2,000 French troops based in northern Mali fighting Islamic extremists. That attack left 20 dead - six Malians and 14 foreigners.

Several people rescued at Kangaba said assailants had shouted "Allahu Akbar (God is Greatest)", although no group has yet claimed responsibility.

Sunday's violence came about a week after the U.S. State Department warned of possible attacks on Western diplomatic missions and other locations in Bamako that Westerners frequent.

A spokesman for Mali's United Nations mission said there had been reports of casualties and of hostages taken. In March that year, a grenade and gun attack on La Terrasse nightclub in Bamako killed five people, including foreigners.

Jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM) seized control of northern Mali in 2012, taking advantage of a rebel uprising in the region. There were no details of casualties but the attack was continuing on Sunday evening. The official says the attack is terror-related, according to the Associated Press.

Two attackers were killed, but it was unclear then whether security forces killed them or whether they blew themselves up, mission spokesman Olivier Salgado said at the time.