Suspect that tried to kill Mali’s interim President dies in police custody

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The suspect accused of attempting to kill Mali’s interim President, Assimi Goita, after he attacked him with a knife in the mosque has died in custody.

Assimi Goita, 37 was sworn into office as Mali’s interim President in June despite the political backlash over his second power grab in almost nine months. He was the country’s military coup leader and had already declared himself as interim President, just two days after seizing the power in Mali’s second coup.

READ ALSO: Two men attack Mali interim president with a knife in mosque

Goita was also the leader of the first coup in the country which ousted the then elected Mali president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August 2020 following months of anti-government demonstrations in the country.

The suspect, whose identity was not revealed, was taken into custody following the assassination attempt at Bamako’s Grand Mosque on Tuesday, July 21.

While Goita was whisked away by his security officials and later appeared on state TV to say he was doing “very well”, his attacker, a young man dressed in jeans and a white shirt, was apprehended at the scene and taken away by the Malian intelligence services.

Sources said the man was never presented before any judicial authorities, the source only revealed that the suspect is a teacher but never elaborated.

Commenting on the death of the suspect, the government said in a statement on Sunday, July 25;

“During investigations… his health deteriorated and he was then hospitalised but unfortunately, he has died.”

The government added that the suspect’s death was not an obstacle to continuing the investigation, “especially since preliminary evidence and intelligence gathered indicate that he was not an isolated element”.

Goita is currently assuming Mali’s presidency for a transitional period of 18 months, after an agreement between the Malian coup leaders and the West African states regional bloc (ECOWAS).

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