Sixteen people are dead after gunmen hit an Ivorian beach resort in Grand-Bassam, adding to what is becoming a worrying streak of terrorist attacks on Francophone West African nations.
The six gunmen opened fire on civilians at the beach resort in Grand Bassam, two dozen miles outside Abidjan, on Sunday. At least sixteen people are believed to have been killed, including four Europeans and two special forces soldiers.
The gunmen were reported to have been shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Arabic for ‘God is Great’) and targeting people. The Guardian reports that those who would not say the phrase back to them were gunned down.
“It was carnage.” A witness told the UK newspaper. “They shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ [God is great]. They were getting people to shout those words and they killed anyone who didn’t. There were at least four of them. Three walked side-by-side along the beach and there was a fourth man who finished off any survivors.”
Reports indicate that Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have claimed responsibility for the attacks. The gunmen were all killed with the arrival of the army.
This attack is the third in six months to be carried out on an affluent location in a West African nation. Jihadists hit the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali last November, whilst Burkina Faso suffered an attack in January. All attacks could be linked to jihadi terrorist organisations, sparking a new wave of concern for a sub-region already housing the deadly Boko Haram.