BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Gunmen killed one person and wounded two others in an attack on a hotel frequented by aid workers and businessmen in Mali’s central Bandjagara city just days after the prime minister visited and vowed to defeat jihadists, a government official said Thursday.
Four gunmen entered the Hotel la Falaise late Wednesday and opened fire on a soldier standing guard, according to interior security spokesman Amadou Sangho. The soldier fired back but was killed. Two civilians, including a hotel employee, were wounded.
Another soldier guarding a bank nearby came to help fight the extremists, who eventually fled, according to a police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the press about the situation.
The attack, the first in Bandjagara, came days after Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga visited the city, promising to defeat the Islamic extremists who have increasingly carried out attacks in central and northern Mali in recent years.
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No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Tourists once flocked to Bandjagara to visit the Dogon people who live in the cliffs, but the jihadist violence in the region since 2012 has reduced visits.