Gunmen attack police station, kill officers in Mali Capital
Two officers were killed when gunmen wearing turbans opened fire on police posted at a bus station in the Malian capital late on Wednesday, security forces said.
Bamako residents said the area around the bus station was cordoned off by the security forces who searched cars along a main road nearby.
Mali’s Minister of Security and Civil Protection, Sada Samake, went to the scene of the shooting to inspect the damages.
One witness said the gunmen were aiming just at the police.
“I was on my way out, and there were a lot of people when they (gunmen) arrived and started shooting in the air and everybody ran off. Then they went straight to the police post and fired shots at it. They came out again and fired more shots before disappearing,” said Chibsy Maiga, a witness.
“They have the same machine guns as these policemen here. They didn’t fire at any civilian, they were aiming just at the police,” he added.
Militant group al-Mourabitoun, which is linked to al Qaeda, on Monday claimed responsibility for a hotel siege in central Mali at the weekend in which 17 people died.
Mali’s northern region has seen a resurgence of a number of attacks by armed groups as well as Islamist militants who briefly held the area until they were scattered by a French military intervention in 2013.
Malian authorities also blame a new armed group called the Massina Liberation Front for the growing number of attacks in the central Mopti region.
The United Nations has brokered a tenuous peace between Tuareg separatists and the government. At the same time, Islamists linked to al Qaeda and new militant groups appear to be mounting a campaign against the U.N. mission and Mali’s military.
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