Two men attack Mali interim president with a knife in mosque

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Mali’s interim president Assimi Goita
Mali’s interim president Assimi Goita

Story from Kenneth AFOR, Lagos

Two armed men reportedly attacked Mali’s interim president, Assimi Goita on Tuesday in the Great Mosque in the capital Bamako, according to a report by AFP.

Goita has since been taken away from the scene, although it was not clear whether he had been wounded.

Religious Affairs Minister Mamadou Kone told AFP that a man had “tried to kill the president with a knife” but was apprehended.

Latus Toure, the director of the Great Mosque, said an attacker had lunged for the president but wounded someone else.

These accounts were not immediately confirmed by AFP.

The West African country since 2012 has been struggling to contain the jihadist insurgency that first emerged in the north of the country and almost a decade later it has spread to Burkina Faso, Mali and the Niger Republic.

Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes as a result of the decade long war.

The conflict has also led to political instability in Bamako, the seat of power.

Colonel Goita led a coup last August, ousting elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after weeks of mass protests over corruption and the long-running jihadist conflict.

In May, he ousted a transitional government that had been entrusted with the task of leading the country back to civilian rule in February 2022.

He was then named transitional president but has pledged to keep to the goal of returning to civilian government.

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