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Armed men attempt to stab Mali interim president

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 22, 2020 Colonel Assimi Goita (C), President of CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of People) addresses to the press during the ceremony of the 60th anniversary of Mali’s independence in Bamako, one day after announcing that the transitional presidency would be assigned to a retired colonel, Bah Ndaw, 70 years, ephemeral Minister of Defence in 2014. – Malian officers upset with a government reshuffle have detained the president and prime minister at an army camp outside the capital, triggering broad international condemnation and demands for their immediate release. President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane lead an interim government that was installed under the threat of regional sanctions following a putsch in August, and the detentions on May 24, 2021 raised fears of a second coup. Briefly reached by phone before the line cut, Prime Minister Ouane told AFP that soldiers affiliated with interim Vice President Colonel Assimi Goita “came to get him”. (Photo by MICHELE CATTANI / AFP)


Two armed men, including one who wielded a knife, attacked Mali’s interim president Assimi Goita on Tuesday in the great mosque in the capital Bamako, an AFP journalist saw.  

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The attack took place during prayers for the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha. 

Goita has since been taken from the scene, according to the journalist, who said it was not immediately 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. 

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

AFP was not immediately able to confirm the accounts.

Mali has been struggling to contain an jihadist insurgency that first emerged in the north of the country in 2012, and has since spread to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. 

Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes. 

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The conflict has also been mirrored by political instability in the capital. 

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 for returning to civilian government.


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