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20 June 2017, 05:26 | Austin Hogan
The European Union launched a training mission - EUTM Mali - for Malian armed forces in 2013.
The recently formed Mali-based Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen extremist group has asserted responsibility for the attack, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors Islamist militant websites. In November 2015, at least 20 people were dead after when jihadists - believed to Al Qaeda fighters - attacked Radisson Blu hotel.
Malian soldiers succeeded in entering the site, according to Commandant Modibo Traore, a spokesman for the Malian special forces in the former French colony.
The released hostages, many of them still in their swimsuit, told reporters that the assailants shouted "Allahu Akbar", meaning "God is great" in Arabic, before they started firing at them.
Those at the resort when the attack began included people affiliated with the French military mission, Operation Barkhane, as well as the UN (MINUSMA) and European Union missions in the country, said a UN official on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to journalists.
In March the same year, a grenade and gun attack on La Terrasse nightclub in Bamako killed five people, including foreigners.
Two of the three attackers of the Mali tourist resort were killed, after they attacked the luxury resort popular with Westerners near Mali's capital city of Bamako.
So far, in the confused circumstances surrounding the attack, the number of victims is not known and neither is the precise number of attackers.
Mali has been in a state of emergency since the Radisson Blu attack.
"This was without doubt a terrorist attack", he told the radio station.
The unrest has continued despite a 2015 peace deal between the government and Tuareg-led rebels offering partial autonomy to the north.
The EU is giving 50 million euros to set up a joint African military force in the Sahel region to fight jihadists, the bloc's foreign affairs chief said yesterday (5 June). But the militants have continued targeting Malian forces and peacekeepers, making it the most risky United Nations mission in the world.
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