Unknown gunmen attack northern Mali trading hub
07 August 2015, 15:21
Bamako (dpa) - Unknown rebels launched an attack on a key trading hub in northern Mali, laying siege to at least three hotels frequented by foreigners, army sources said on Friday.
Armed with machine guns, the suspected Islamist militants arrived on motorbikes and attacked at least three hotels in the town of Sevare, an army source told dpa on condition of anonymity.
The military has arrived in Sevare to retake control of the town, the source said.
The hotels - the Debo, the Motel and the Flandres - are mainly occupied by foreigners and are currently accommodating guests from France, South Africa and Ukraine, according to one of the hotel owners.
Residents said they had seen one dead body lying on the street outside one of the hotels.
Mali's north has been volatile since separatist rebel groups and later al-Qaeda-affiliated militants took control of the region in the wake of a 2012 military coup.
French and African military operations dispersed the militants and restored government control over the area, but clashes between rebels and the military continue in some areas.