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Gunfire heard at Mali resort area popular with foreigners
19 June 2017, 12:25 | Opal Carroll
An official from the security ministry confirmed earlier that Malian special forces, backed up by United Nations soldiers and troops from a French counter-terrorism force, "have sealed off the area and are in the process of organising operations" against the attackers.
Residents nearby said they heard shots being fired, and smoke could be seen rising from the resort, AFP reported.
"The situation is under control", ministry spokesman Baba Cisse told Reuters by telephone.
The violence came about a week after the U.S. State Department warned of "possible future attacks on Western diplomatic missions, other locations in Bamako that Westerners frequent".
Late past year, the U.S. State Department also warned U.S. citizens against traveling to Mali "because of ongoing terrorist attacks and criminal violence".
In November 2015, at least 20 people died in a siege at the luxury Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako.
The U.N. official said those at the resort when the attack began included people affiliated with the French military mission as well as the U.N.
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A tourist resort near the capital of Mali is under attack by gunmen, according to multiple media reports.
This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.
The former French colony has been battling Islamist extremists with help from French forces and the UN.
Andrea de Georgio, a freelance journalist in Bamako, also quoted officials as saying that at least two people were killed. It has been targeted constantly by jihadists, with dozens of peacekeepers killed.
Malian troops and soldiers from France's Bakhane regional counter-terrorist force were surrounding the site, a resort boasting accommodation in hut-style rooms as well as restaurants and swimming pools.
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