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Old 13-03-16, 19:04   #1
 
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Arrow Right VIDEOs >Deadly Terror Attack on Beach Resort in Ivory Coast

Gunmen Scream 'Allah Akbar'
>and Kill 12 People Including Four Europeans at Ivory Coast Beach Resort Popular with Westerners

  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
  • Gunmen with AK-47s and hand grenades targeted a popular tourist resort
  • Shooters in balaclavas opened fire on guests at the L'Etoile du Sud hotel
  • At least 11 people have been reportedly killed in the attack in Ivory Coast
  • Terrifying footage from scene shows holidaymakers running for their lives

Four gunmen armed with machine guns and hand grenades killed at least 12 people at a popular tourist report in Ivory Coast.

The heavily armed, balaclava clad shooters opened fired on guests at the L'Etoile du Sud [Southern Star] hotel which was full of expats, a witness said.


Graphic images showed seven dead bodies scattered across the beach in the resort town of Grand Bassam, around 25 miles from the capital Abidjan.

The country's Government said six armed men have been 'neutralised' following attacks on three different hotels. No terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack.


Scroll down for videos:





Grand Bassam was once the colonial capital of Ivory Coast and remains a popular site for ex-pats relaxing from city life in Abidjan


And footage from a hotel balcony showed people running from their lives as the shooters tried to gun down unarmed holidaymakers.

Unconfirmed reports have emerged that several French nationals may have been killed in the deadly attack, with witnesses describing how the gunmen arrived on the beach via a boat.

Josiane Sekongo, 25, who lives across from one of the town's many beachfront hotels, described the shocking moment the attack took place.
She ran outside after hearing gun fire and saw people sprinting away from the beach to hide in their homes, moments before the security forces arrived.

'I saw seven dead that I filmed. There were four attackers. I was swimming when it started and I ran away,' said Dramane Kima a local who filmed the bodies on Bassam's shore.

He also took photos of grenades and ammunition thought to have been left behind by the attackers.





Unconfirmed reports have emerged that several French nationals may have been killed in the deadly attack





Ivorian special forces race to the scene of the devastating attack in the town of Grand Bassam





It is unclear who is behind the attack but photographs have emerged of dead bodies lying on the beach in the resort town of Grand-Bassam, around 25 miles from Abijan



A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said officials were 'urgently' trying to establish whether any British nationals were harmed at the resort, a popular site for expats.

Today's attack was the third time in recent months that a West African tourist hotspot has been besieged by gunmen.

Dozens were killed during a siege of a Malian hotel in November, followed by an assault on a hotel and cafe in Burkina Faso in January.

Analysts have warned for months that Ivory Coast, which shares a border with both those countries, could be a potential target by jihadists as well.

'I have always said that Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Dakar (Senegal) are the next targets for jihadist groups because these two countries represent windows of France in Africa,' said terrorism expert Lemine Ould Salem.
He said the attackers could be from the ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram terror group that has killed thousands across Africa over several years.





Locals help a badly injured victim on to the back of a backup truck following the sudden terror attack





One of the victims from the shocking attack in Bassam, where gunmen opened fire on the beach





An AFP journalist saw around a dozen people, including an injured Western woman, being evacuated in a military truck


Home to some 80,000 people, Grand-Bassam holds UNESCO World Heritage status thanks to its elegant colonial-era facades. The town has several hotels frequented by expats.

UNESCO describes Grand-Bassam as a late 19th and early 20th century colonial town that 'bears witness to the complex social relations between Europeans and Africans, and to the subsequent independence movement'.

'As a vibrant centre of the territory of French trading posts in the Gulf of Guinea, which preceded modern Cote d'Ivoire, it attracted populations from all parts of Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean Levant,' the UN cultural agency says on its website.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said officials were 'urgently' trying to establish whether any British nationals were harmed at the resort, a popular site for expats.

Today's attack was the third time in recent months that a West African tourist hotspot has been besieged by gunmen.

Dozens were killed during a siege of a Malian hotel in November, followed by an assault on a hotel and cafe in Burkina Faso in January.

Analysts have warned for months that Ivory Coast, which shares a border with both those countries, could be a potential target by jihadists as well.

'I have always said that Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Dakar (Senegal) are the next targets for jihadist groups because these two countries represent windows of France in Africa,' said terrorism expert Lemine Ould Salem.
He said the attackers could be from the ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram terror group that has killed thousands across Africa over several years.





Locals help a badly injured victim on to the back of a backup truck following the sudden terror attack





One of the victims from the shocking attack in Bassam, where gunmen opened fire on the beach





An AFP journalist saw around a dozen people, including an injured Western woman, being evacuated in a military truck










UPDATE:

Ivory Coast Security Forces "Neutralise Six Terrorists", Minister Says

ABIDJAN, March 13 (Reuters) -

Ivory Coast's security forces "neutralised six terrorists" on Sunday after a deadly attack on a beach resort town that left around a dozen people dead, Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko said.

"Three hotels in Grand Bassam were attacked this Sunday by armed men. Security and defence forces intervened immediately and were able to neutralise six terrorists. The clean-up operation is under way," he said on state television."

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