Gunmen kill at least 12 in popular beach resort attack in Ivory Coast

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– By Adolphus Oseiwe Igenegbale

Heavily armed gunmen opened fire Sunday at a popular Ivory Coast beach resort in Grand-Bassam.

Witnesses say the assailants wore hooded face masks and arrived on foot on the beach at the Southern Star hotel, which was full of foreign expatriates during the current heatwave in the city of about 80,000 people.

There was no official report on casualties, but from situation reports monitored by international media, a witness reported seeing between five and ten armed men shooting victims on the ground and one of the attackers shot dead.

The witness said four men shouted, “Allahu Akbar!” (God is great) before opening fire.

A hotel receptionist said, “We do not know where they came from, and we do not know where they have gone.”

Everyone in the hotel was safe, he said, and police were on the scene.

Grand-Bassam is a former French colonial capital, about 40 kilometers east of the commercial hub of Abidjan, and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site because of the elegant colonial-era facades of buildings in the city.

There was no immediate explanation for the attack.

Ivory Coast evacuation
Ivory Coast evacuation

In recent months, Islamic jihadists have attacked luxury hotels in the capitals of neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso, killing dozens of people.

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