Cote d'Ivoire: AQIM claims Ivorian attack; 22 killed, 22 injured

Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) - Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack at the Ivorian town of Grand-Bassam that has claimed 22 lives and left 22 others injured.

PANA reports that Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, who visited the scene of the attack, just outside the main city of Abidjan, on Sunday, said 22 people were killed and 22 others injured in the attack on beach hotels at Grand-Bassam.

Official sources said 14 civilians were killed, including four Westerners, two elements of the Ivorian special forces and six terrorists.

The sources said 19 civilians and three members of the special forces were injured.

The Minister of the Interior and Security, Hamed Bakayoko, said that the dead were of French, German, Malian, Burkina Faso and Cameroonian nationalities.

He also said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was in contact with the embassies of the countries of the victims.

President Ouattara said that the situation was under control and stressed that these "cowardly terrorist attacks" would not be tolerated in his country.

"At the time that I am speaking, calm has returned to Grand-Bassam. People who were at Assini, 50 km from here, for the weekend, have returned quietly to Abidjan. I would say to all our fellow citizens, to the entire population that the situation is under control. Calm has returned and we continue to strengthen security in Grand-Bassam, Abidjan and throughout the Ivorian territory," President Ouattara said.

He lauded the rapid response of the defence forces and Ivorian security which "neutralised" the six terrorists after a fierce fight.

The terrorist attack on Grand-Bassam follows similar attacks on hotels in two other West African cities - Bamako, the Malian capital last November, and Ouagadougou, the Burkina Faso capital, last January.
-0- PANA MA 14March2016

14 march 2016 06:10:18

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