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Suspected jihadists attack spa in Mali's capital, 2 dead

19 June 2017

Authorities said more than 30 people managed to escape though at least two people were killed.

"I heard gunfire coming from the camp and I saw people running out of the tourist site", said Modibo Diarra, who lives nearby.

Several people rescued at Kangaba said assailants had shouted "Allahu Akbar (God is Greatest)", although no group has yet claimed responsibility.

Late past year, the U.S. State Department also warned U.S. citizens against traveling to Mali "because of ongoing terrorist attacks and criminal violence".

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Emmanuel Macron, the new French President, was reported to be following events, in the former French Colony.

In November 2015, 20 people died after gunmen took guests and staff hostage at the Radisson Blu hotel in the capital.

French troops and a 10,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping force have been battling to stabilise Mali, a former French colony, ever since France intervened in 2013 to push back jihadists and allied Tuareg rebels who had taken over the country's desert north a year earlier. At least five soldiers were killed during a jihadist attack on a military base in the north of the country Saturday. Campement Kangaba is blocked off and an operation is under way, ' Cisse said by telephone. The Kangaba, located on the eastern edge of Bamako, boasts accommodation in hut-style rooms, as well as restaurants and swimming pools, according to its website.

France intervened in Mali in 2013 to oust Islamic extremists who had seized control of the major northern towns the year before.

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Sunday's violence came about a week after the U.S. State Department warned of "possible future attacks on Western diplomatic missions, other locations in Bamako that Westerners frequent".

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to the city as terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks, including kidnaps.

Tensions erupted in Mali in 2012 following a failed coup and a Tuareg rebellion that ultimately allowed al-Qaeda-linked militant groups to take over the northern half of the country.

But the force has been resisted by Washington which says the resolution is too vague and believes a simple statement would suffice. An attacker had been wounded and fled, leaving a submachine gun and six bottles of explosives behind, the ministry said earlier.

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