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Hollande denounces 'cowardly attack' in Mali

07 March 2015, 18:30

Paris - French President Francois Hollande on Saturday denounced the "cowardly attack" in Mali, the Elysee palace said in a statement.

It said a French national was "very likely" killed in the attack in the capital Bamako. Mali police said three Europeans, including a French national, and two locals were killed in the attack on a restaurant.

Hollande will meet with Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and offer France's help, the palace said.

Two people have been arrested over the attack at the popular La Terrasse restaurant. The motive is not known, the source said.

"The zone where the shooting took place is under the control of the security forces. Two Europeans and two Malians have been killed. The security forces are conducting an operation to ensure there are no other surprises," the source said.

Belgian foreign minister Didier Reynders said one Beligan was among the victims of the "cowardly act of terror".

Mali's desert north sees regular political violence but the capital Bamako is largely peaceful.

French forces wrested control of the north from separatist rebels and militants linked to al Qaeda two years ago but the insurgents continue to mount attacks.

Mali's government signed a preliminary peace proposal on Sunday meant to end fighting with northern separatists, but the Tuareg-led rebels demanded more time before agreeing to any accord.



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