Five people have been killed after gunmen carrying grenades and machine guns stormed a popular nightclub in Mali. The La Terrasse Bar is in the busy Hippodrome district of Mali, and is a club that is said to be quite popular amongst the expatriate population.
Witnesses at the incident report that the attackers yelled “Allahu Akbar”, which means ‘God is great’, whilst carrying out the attack. President Francois Hollande said that after the attack, security had been immediately tightened around French facilities in the city, and the embassy was setting up a crisis cell where they would be better equipped to help expats.
Of the people killed, a French man was shot dead on the scene, whilst two Malian men, one of whom was a police officer, were shot as the gunmen were fleeing the building. They also threw a grenade at a Belgian man in his car, killing him, and one more victim died later in hospital. Of the five dead, three of them were European nationals.
Laurent Fabius, the Foreign Minister, called the attack ‘cowardly’, and confirmed that the attack only strengthened France’s resolve to fight every form of terrorism. Two suspects have been arrested, but there is no information yet about their identity or their motives for the shooting. However, Didier Reynders, the Belgian Foreign Minister, also condemned the attack, and stated that it was possibly a terrorist attack.