Mali’s Ministry of Security and Civil Protection said in a statement the armed individuals exchanged gunshots with the anti-terrorist force. The attack occurred at Le Campement Kangaba and the situation is under control, army spokesman Diarran Kone said by phone.
The attack is said to be ongoing, with security forces battling the gunmen.
The country’s security has gradually worsened since 2013, when French forces repelled allied Islamist and Tuareg rebel fighters from parts of the north. In another hotel attack in November 2015, gunmen took staff and guests hostage at the Radisson Blu in Bamako, a siege which resulted in the deaths of 20 people.
Led by the Malian jihadist Iyad Ag Ghaly, a former leader of the Ansar Dine Islamists, this group has claimed multiple attacks on domestic and foreign forces since its formation – particularly against the 12,000-member United Nations force known as MINUSMA.
Today’s violence came about a week after the U.S. State Department warned of possible attacks on Western diplomatic missions and other locations in Bamako that Westerners frequent.
The French president’s office, the defence minister’s office and the French military would not comment immediately on the attack or on media reports saying that French forces are intervening.
Niang said Bamako will continue to be a target in the coming weeks because “some jihadists in the past have been threatening the way alcohol is being exhibited openly by foreign troops and their allies across the country”.
A tourist resort in Mali popular with top officials and foreigners is under attack, according to witnesses and journalists.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the North African arm of Al-Qaeda, took responsibility for that attack.
The most recent one, which camein April, has been extended for six months. It has been targeted constantly by jihadists, with dozens of peacekeepers killed.
One of the suspected attackers who was wounded in the attack managed to escape, the ministry added.