Mali Interim President survives assassination attempt; attacker arrested

Posted by News Express | 20 July 2021 | 381 times

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Mali’s interim leader Colonel Assimi Goita announced on national television that he is doing “very well” following an attempt on his life in the capital Bamako on Tuesday.

“That’s part of being a leader, there are always malcontents,” he said in a statement broadcast on state channel ORTM. “There are people who at any time may want to try things to cause instability”.

Two armed men, including one who wielded a knife, had attacked Goita on Tuesday during prayers in the great mosque in the capital Bamako.

The attack took place during festivities for the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha. The president has since been taken from the scene, according to the journalist.

Religious Affairs Minister Mamadou Kone told AFP that a man had “tried to kill the president with a knife” but was apprehended.

Latus Toure, the director of the Great Mosque, said an attacker had lunged for the president but wounded someone else.

Mali has been struggling to contain a jihadist insurgency that first emerged in the north of the country in 2012, and has since spread to Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.

Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.

The conflict has also been mirrored by political instability in the capital.

Colonel Goita led a coup last August, ousting elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after weeks of mass protests over corruption and the long-running jihadist conflict.

In May, he ousted a transitional government that had been entrusted with the task of leading the country back to civilian rule in February 2022.

He was then named transitional president, but has pledged to keep to the goal for returning to civilian government.

•Based on separate reports by AFP. PHOTO: Security personnel escort an alleged attacker (C) from The Grand Fayçal Mosque in Bamako on July 20, 2021, after two assailants attempted to stab Mali’s interim transitional President Colonel Assimi Goita during Eid al-Adha prayers at the mosque in the Malian capital.


Source: News Express

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