Monday, March 21, 2016

Gunmen attack EU military training base in Mali capital

Unidentified gunmen attacked a hotel in Mali's capital Bamako on Monday that had been converted into a base for a European Union military training mission in the West African nation, a Defence Ministry official and a witness said.

European military sources said that there were no casualties among the staff of the base, and that one of the attackers had been killed. Three of the four attackers had fled the scene, according to FRANCE 24’s sister radio station Radio France Internationale (RFI).

"The attackers tried to force through the entry and the guards posed in front of the entrance opened fire. One attacker was killed. The gunfire continued for several minutes," said one witness near the Nord-Sud hotel.

A Defence Ministry spokesman confirmed that shots had been fired at the hotel.

Monday’s assault on the Nord-Sud hotel follows last November's deadly assault on the luxury Radisson Blu hotel, which left 22 people dead, the country’s worst terror attack in years.

Two Islamist militant groups claimed the assault, including al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). The group also targeted a beach resort town in Ivory Coast
earlier this month, killing 19 people.

Mali has been plunged into insecurity following a 2012 coup, which cleared the way for a jihadist takeover of northern Mali. The area, an expanse of desert the size of Texas, was controlled by a dangerous mix of Islamist and Tuareg separatist groups until a French military operation launched in January 2013 succeeded in seizing control of northern Mali.

But the impoverished West African nation has been hit by a number of attacks in recent months.

About 1,000 French troops remain in the country. The Netherlands also has troops working with the UN mission in Mali. According to the Dutch defence ministry, some 450 Dutch military personnel are taking part in the mission along with four Apache and three Chinook helicopters.

Most of the Dutch force is based in Gao, but there are a few officers at the UN mission headquarters in Bamako.


  1. Mali: la mission militaire de l'UE à Bamako attaquée, les assaillants repoussés...

    Un hôtel de Bamako abritant la mission de formation de l'Union européenne qui entraîne l'armée malienne (EUTM Mali) a été visé lundi soir par une attaque, dont les auteurs ont été repoussés et l'un d'entre eux "neutralisé", selon une source au sein de l'EUTM.

    "Il y a quatre personnes qui ont tenté de forcer notre barrage en tirant", a indiqué cette source. "Un des quatre assaillants a été neutralisé, les trois autres sont recherchés", a-t-on ajouté, sans préciser si l'assaillant neutralisé était mort. Les tirs entendus dans la soirée s'étaient tus peu avant 20H00 (locales et GMT), selon des témoins et des correspondants de l'AFP.

  2. Atacante morto em atentado contra missão militar Europeia no Mali...

    Os atacantes ao edifício da missão militar da União Europeia na capital do Mali já foram rechaçados, tendo um deles sido morto, informou fonte da missão à agência AFP.

    O porta-voz do Estado-Maior General das Forças Armadas, tenente-coronel Hélder Perdigão, disse à agência Lusa que os militares portugueses destacados no Mali "estão todos bem", após o ataque em Bamako.

    "Houve um incidente em Bamako. Os nossos militares estão todos bem. Já entramos em contacto com eles", salientou o tenente-coronel Hélder Perdigão.

    Portugal tem destacados na missão militar da União Europeia no Mali 10 militares dos três ramos das Forças Armadas.


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