Gunfire reported at Mali tourist resort

Posted at 4:53 PM, Jun 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-18 16:53:14-04

A luxury resort popular with Westerners near Mali’s capital city of Bamako was under attack Sunday, the US State Department said.

“Ongoing attack at Hotel Kangaba “Le Campement” 30 min southeast of #Bamako, #Mali,” the department tweeted, warning people to avoid the area.

The UN Mission to the West African country also reported shots were fired at the resort. The tweet from the UN Mission to Mali reads: “shots fired at Le Campement #Kangaba, tourist camp in the suburbs of #Bamako #Mali.”

Reuters, sourcing a spokesman at the Security Ministry, reported that the resort came under attack by gunmen.

The EU Training Mission in Mali tweeted a statement that they were aware of the attack and were assessing the situation.

Earlier this month, the US Embassy in Bamako had issued a travel warning on its website, saying there was an increased security threat to Westerners.

“The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. 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,” the warning said.

Le Campement is located on the outskirts of the capital, about 30 minutes from downtown Bamako. The resort is also popular with expatriates who use its facilities to host business meetings and team-building exercises.

The grounds include a hotel, bars, restaurant, spa and swimming pools. The resort also offers live entertainment and several outdoor activities, including bike rides and kayaking on the Niger River.

In November, 2015, gunmen raided a Malian hotel and killed at least 22 people, according to the UN Mission in Mali.

The gunmen shouted “Allahu akbar” as they opened fire on tables of people who were gathered for breakfast at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, a witness said.

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.