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Mali Interim President Reportedly Targeted in Stabbing Attempt

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The interim president was reportedly attacked during prayers amid the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

Two armed men, one of whom had a knife, reportedly attacked Mali’s interim president Assimi Goita during prayers in the great mosque in the capital Bamako on 20 July 2021, AFP reports. The president has not been injured, reports suggest, citing local sources. 

The attack took place during the holy holiday of Eid al-Adha. The president was taken away from the site, according to the media.

Mali’s Religious Affairs Minister Mamadou Kone said a man tried to kill the president with a knife but was apprehended, according to AFP. The director of the Great Mosque, Latus Toure, noted an assailant had rushed for the president but wounded someone else instead. Neither Mamadou nor Toure mentioned the second assailant, and what happened to him during the attack.

This has been at least the third public incident to have happened on the Eid al-Adha holiday. Earlier in the day, several rockets hit near the presidential palace in Kabul shortly before Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was about to address people to mark the major Muslim holiday. Prior to that, a blast hit a market in eastern Baghdad, Iraq on 19 July, on the eve of the holiday, killing more than 30 people.

Earlier in May, members of Mali’s military arrested Malian Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, Acting President Bah Ndaw, and Defence Minister Souleymane Doucoure. Later in the month, the military junta led by then-Acting Vice President Colonel Assimi Goita announced the resignations of the prime minister and interim president. Goita also led the coup in August 2020 that ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Over the last several years, Mali has been dealing with an jihadist insurgency that first surfaced in the country’s north in 2012, and has since spread to Burkina Faso and Niger.



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