Westerners have been warned to avoid typical tourist areas in Mali, including airports and hotels, with the US Embassy saying “planning” could be underway for a terror attack.
Britons are being warned a terror attack is ‘highly likely’ in Mali, with the US Embassy saying ‘planning’ may be underway.
Mali is plagued by civil unrest and rising tensions after two coups in the country controlled by a military government.
Last month, the Malian army said it killed a “dozen terrorists” in airstrikes, including a Franco-Tunisian jihadist in the village of Moura, it was reported.
The situation has deteriorated with the government falling out with its ally France, which has helped them fight rebel fighters blamed for killing thousands of people in recent years.
And now the US Embassy in Mali has told its citizens that an attack on the capital Bamako may be planned.
He said: “A terrorist attack in Bamako may be planned targeting Malian government offices, the airport and/or places frequented by Westerners, including diplomatic facilities, hotels and restaurants.”
The UK government also updated its advice to Britons on Friday saying it is very likely an attack could be ‘indiscriminate’.
He said: “Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Mali, including kidnappings.
“There is an increased risk of attack in Bamako. Attacks could be indiscriminate and occur without warning, including in places visited by foreigners and large crowds.”
As advised by the US Embassy, UK residents are advised to avoid crowded areas, whether they are hotels, shopping areas or nightclubs.
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The UK Government’s advice continued: “You should be particularly vigilant and, where possible, avoid places frequented by foreigners and large crowds, including diplomatic premises, hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs , stadiums, concert halls, shopping areas, markets, national infrastructure, airports and other transportation hubs, places of worship and businesses with Western interests.
“Large crowds and foreign, national or local government facilities, including those belonging to defense and security forces, may also be a target.”
It comes with claims that Russian mercenaries operate in African countries and have been involved in massacres resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians.
The Wagner Group, a private company linked to Vladimir Putin, has been accused of attacks in Mali in an attempt to escalate unrest and instability, The Guardian reported.