BREAKING: Two dead in Mali terror as jihadi gunmen attack luxury hotel popular with expats
At least two people have been killed at Le Campement resort in Dougourakoro, located to the east of the capital Bamako. The incident is ongoing.
One of the dead has been identified as a French-Gabonese citizen.
Baba Cisse of the Malian security ministry said: “The first victim was a French-Gabonese citizen. We are in the process of confirming the other’s nationality,”
Neighbours reported hearing gunshots and seeing smoke rising from the site.
It is believed hostages have been taken by the gunmen. Twenty have already been freed.
Mr Cisse said: “Security forces are in place. Campement Kangaba is blocked off and an operation is under way. The situation is under control.”
A government official said “suspected jihadists” were responsible.
The resort is also thought to be popular with UN workers in Mali.
The attack has come just days after the US Embassy in Mali issued a warning of possible attack in the capital.
They said: “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.
“Avoid vulnerable locations with poor security measures in place, including hotels, restaurants, and churches.
“Review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.”
Security has gradually worsened in 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.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and another militant group claimed responsibility an attack on a hotel in Mali’s capital in late 2015 in which 20 people were killed.
French troops and a 10,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force have battled to stabilise the former French colony and strikes on Malian and Western targets have spread further south and far beyond traditional militant strongholds.
This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.