Mali Attack under way at tourist resort

The west African country has been battling a jihadist insurgency for several years, with Islamist fighters roaming the north.

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Map locating Bamako in Mali play

Map locating Bamako in Mali

(AFP)
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A tourist resort popular with Westerners in the Malian capital was under attack on Sunday, according to witnesses and an AFP journalist.

Malian troops and soldiers from France's Bakhane counter-terrorist force headed to the site on the edge of Bamako, where nearby residents reported hearing shots fired while smoke billowed into the air.

There was no information immediately available on any casualties.

The west African country has been battling a jihadist insurgency for several years, with Islamist fighters roaming the north and centre of Mali.

In November 2015, gunmen took guests and staff hostage at the luxury Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako in a siege that left at least 20 people dead, including 14 foreigners.

The attack was claimed by Al-Qaeda's North African affiliate Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

A state of emergency has been renewed several times since the Radisson Blu attack, most recently in April when it was extended for six months.

In 2012 Mali's north fell under the control of jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda who hijacked an ethnic Tuareg-led rebel uprising, though the Islamists were largely ousted by a French-led military operation in January 2013.

But jihadists have mounted numerous attacks on civilians and the army, as well as on French and UN forces still stationed there.

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