Portugal says 1 of its soldiers killed in Mali terror attack

Portugal says 1 of its soldiers killed in Mali terror attack

Portugal says 1 of its soldiers killed in Mali terror attack

An armoured vehicle drives towards Le Campement Kangaba resort following an attack where gunmen stormed the resort in Dougourakoro, to the east of the capital Bamako, Mali in this still frame taken from video June 18, 2017.

The attackers stormed the hotel popular with westerners, opening fire on guests.

A total of five people, excluding the attackers, were killed in the attack.

The recently formed Mali-based Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen extremist group has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi websites.

A United Nations official who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to journalists said those at the resort when the attack began included people affiliated with the French military mission, as well as the United Nations and European Union missions in the country. A Malian soldier and another Malian national who worked for the European Union mission were also among the victims, along with a dual French-Gabonese citizen whose name has not been released.

"This was without doubt a terrorist attack", Security Minister Salif Traore told RFI on Monday.

Although the attackers succeeded in mounting a lethal assault, security forces backed by French and United Nations troops managed to rescue around 60 residents in two batches on Sunday night, including 13 French citizens and several children.

But analysts said security forces appeared to have responded more quickly this time than in previous such attacks. But the militants have continued targeting Malian forces and peacekeepers, making it the most risky United Nations mission in the world.

Mahamadou Doumbia said a militant on a motorcycle entered the area around 3:40 p.m. and cried "Allah Akbar" before jumping off and running toward the pool area.

French President Emmanuel Macron was informed about the attack and was following the events carefully, according to an official in his office.

"France condemns with utmost firmness this murderous attack", the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Sunday's violence came about a week after the U.S. State Department warned of possible attacks on Western diplomatic missions and other locations in Bamako that Westerners frequent. "I have no other words to say", the resort owner Manou Morgane, a French national, told Reuters TV overnight. "I want to find them (anyone missing)".