Al-Qaeda kills 16 in hotel attacks in Ivory Coast

Al-Qaeda kills 16 in hotel attacks in Ivory Coast

- Gunmen from the North African branch of Al Qaeda killed 16 people at a beach resort town in Ivory Coast on Sunday

- 6 shooters targeted hotels on a beach at Grand Bassam, east of Abidjan before being killed in clashes with Ivorian special forces

- Ivorian football star, Didier Drogba has sent his condolence to the nation via twitter

Al-Qaeda kills 16 in hotel attacks in Ivory Coast

16 killed in Al Qaeda attacks in Ivory Coast (photo npr.org)

At least 14 civilians and two soldiers  were killed in a gun attack on a beach resort in south-eastern Ivory Coast on Sunday, when  six Al-Qaeda-linked militants fired on beach-goers in Grand Bassam, about 40km  from Abidjan.

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Gunmen all dressed in black opened fire around lunchtime while people were eating and drinking at the beachside bars and restaurants or swimming in the ocean. The resort is popular with both locals and foreigners.

The gunmen were "neutralised", officials say. Security forces moved to evacuate the area surrounding the beach. Bullet holes riddled vehicles nearby and some windows had been shot out. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has claimed the attack.

French President Francois Hollande on Sunday pledged support, denouncing Sunday's shootings as a "cowardly attack".

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Barely two months ago, Islamist fighters killed dozens of people in a hotel and cafe frequented by foreigners in neighboring Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou. Gunmen also attacked a hotel in the Malian capital Bamako late last year.

Both of those attacks were claimed by AQIM. The group, which has its origin in Algeria's civil war of the 1990s, has expanded across the Sahel regions south of the Sahara in recent years.

 

 

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