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Mali’s interim president attacked

Interim Malian President Assimi Goita (C) stands with members of the Supreme Court during his swearing-in ceremony in Bamako, Mali, on June 7, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Mali's interim President Assimi Goita has been attacked by two men at a mosque in the capital, Bamako.

Goita was attacked while performing prayers on the Islamic occasion of Eid al-Adha at the Grand Mosque of Bamako on Tuesday, AFP reported, citing one of its journalists who witnessed the scene. One of the attackers wielded a knife.

Goita was taken away from the Grand Mosque, but it was not immediately clear whether he was wounded.

Religious Affairs Minister Mamadou Kone confirmed to AFP that the man attempted "to kill the president with a knife" but was captured by police.

Latus Toure, the director of the Grand Mosque, said the attacker had wounded someone else, instead of the president.

Mali has since 2012 been facing militancy in the north of the country, which has also affected Burkina Faso and Niger and which has killed thousands of soldiers and civilians and forced thousands of others to escape their homes.

Goita led a military coup in the West African country in August last year, overthrowing elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after weeks of mass protests over corruption and the long-running militancy.

In May 2021, Goita ousted a transitional government, which sparked a chorus of condemnation in the country. He was formally sworn into office as the new interim president in June, vowing to support a transition toward democratic governance.

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