At least two people were killed in an attack by gunmen on Sunday at a luxury resort outside Mali's capital Bamako popular with Western expatriates, the security ministry said, but 36 guests had been rescued.
Gunmen stormed Le Campement Kangaba near Dougourakoro, to the east of the capital Bamako, a resort foreign residents often visit for weekend breaks.
"At first we thought they were armed bandits but we know how armed bandits operate, they don’t hold territory, so now we think it is a terrorist attack," Mali's Security Minister Salif Traore told journalists outside the entrance to the resort late Sunday, part of which was on fire.
An armored vehicle drives towards Le Campement Kangaba resort following an attack where gunmen stormed the resort in Mali in this still frame taken from video June 18, 2017.
Malian security forces, United Nations peacekeeping mission vehicles and French military armored vehicles were surrounding the resort, according to a Reuters witness. A helicopter was circling overhead.
Security Ministry spokesman Baba Cisse said by telephone that two people had been killed, including a French-Gabonese citizen and another whose nationality was not yet known. Two others had been wounded, one civilian and a policeman, he said.
Police with four people rescued from the Le Campement Kangaba resort following an attack where gunmen stormed the resort in Mali in this still frame taken from video June 18, 2017.
Two of the three attackers were also killed, and the third gunman was missing after the attack, CNN reported.
Malian state TV reported that 36 guests had so far been rescued.
Witness Boubacar Sangare was just outside the compound during the attack. "Westerners were fleeing the encampment while two plainclothes police exchanged fire with the assailants," he said.
A spokesman for French forces in Mali declined to immediately comment.