Extremists Attack EU Mission in Mali’s Capital Bamako
The attack comes on a week that marks 4th anniversary of coup that overthrew democracy in Mali
Extremists launched an attack Monday evening on the European Union military mission’s headquarters in the Malian capital Bamako. The attacks underline their determination to continue striking against Western interests in the region.
Sgt. Baba Dembele from the anti-terrorism unit in Bamako said that it was believed some attackers had entered the luxury hotel where the mission is headquartered.
The EU mission later released a statement on Twitter saying no personnel had been wounded during the violence, and that forces are securing the area.
The assault comes about four months after jihadis attacked the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital, killing 20 people.
In January, other extremists from the same militant group attacked a cafe near a hotel popular with foreigners in Burkina Faso’s capital, killing at least 29 people. And just last week that same group claimed responsibility for an assault on a beach in Ivory Coast that left at least 19 dead.
This week marks the fourth anniversary of the coup that unleashed widespread chaos in Mali. After the overthrow of the democratically elected president, extremists in the northern half of Mali took over the major towns and began implementing their strict interpretation of Islamic law. The amputations and public whippings only ended when a French-led military mission forced them from power in 2013.
Over the past year, the jihadis have mounted a growing wave of violent attacks against U.N. peacekeepers who are trying to help stabilize the country.
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