Two members of European Union training mission killed in Africa

Gladys Abbott
June 20, 2017

Nine people including four civilians were killed in an attack by "terrorists" on a hotel near the Malian capital Bamako, Security Minister Salif Traore said Monday.

One of the dead from Sunday's attack was a Portuguese soldier working with the European Union (EU) military training mission, Portugal's Armed Forces and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini confirmed.

The EU runs an advisory mission to help train the Mali armed forces and maintains a delegation in the capital, Bamako.

But the jihadists have continued to mount numerous attacks on civilians and the army, as well as on French and United Nations forces still stationed there.

The Defence Forces say all its members have been located in Mali, following a terrorist attack there.

One of the people killed by the gunmen was a French-Gabonese citizen. The troops form part of a UN-mission tasked with securing the peace in the embattled north of the country.

Mogherini, who has promised 50 million euros ($56 million) to back the new force, said Monday that Europeans and Africans were "brothers and sisters" in the fight against terror.

Traore added that the militants had some accomplices who had not been killed or detained. AQIM claimed the assault, saying the gunmen were from the Al-Murabitoun group of Algerian extremist Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

Security forces were battling the attackers at the Kangaba resort after the assault, with nearby residents reporting hearing shots while smoke billowed into the air, with at least one building ablaze.

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"They're specialized in this kind of operation", he said.

"During their exchange, he conveyed France's full support to Mali's president during this ordeal", said Macron's office.

So far, in the confused circumstances surrounding the attack, the number of victims is not known and neither is the precise number of attackers.

Jihadists are active in Mali's troubled north and centre but attacks on civilians in and around the capital are much rarer.

The alliance that claimed the attack, Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen, was created earlier this year from a merger of local groups and is led by a notorious Tuareg commander.

"I am exhausted, shocked".

A security ministry spokesman told Reuters 32 guests had been rescued from the resort. "All I want to do is to see the list of my clients".

However shortly after noon they said the missing serviceman had been found.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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