At least two people were reported dead amid an attack by “armed terrorists” on a hotel near the Malian capital of Bamako, the government confirmed Sunday.
Security personnel also reported two injured and 20 people released amid media reports of a hostage situation. Multiple outlets reported that the hotel, Le Campement Kangaba, was a favourite destination for expatriates in the country.
One of the dead was a woman with dual Malian and French citizenship, the security ministry said on Facebook. The other victim’s identity had not been determined.
The two people injured were described as a civilian and a member of the security forces.
A person at the U.N. mission for Mali confirmed a “situation” at the hotel.
Anti-terror forces from several countries arrived on the scene soon after the attack and surrounded the hotel. Eyewitnesses spoke of soldiers from Mali, the United States, France and U.N. peacekeepers.
According to the Malian security ministry statement, one of the armed attackers was able to flee.
The US embassy in Mali one week ago issued an alert about heightened dangers for foreigners at popular spots in Bamako. It warned that people should avoid places with poor security, including hotels, restaurants and churches.
Mali has been unstable for years, ever since an extremist uprising in northern Mali in 2012 put much of the country into the hands of Islamist and other rebel groups. The uprising was only pushed back by a French military intervention.
An 800-man U.N. mission is now active in the country, enforcing a peace deal between the government and the rebels.
In November 2015, terrorists attacked a different hotel in Bamako, taking 100 people hostage and eventually leaving 20 dead.