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UN chief condemns 'horrific terrorist attack' in Mali

21 November 2015, 10:13

New York - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the "horrific terrorist attack" on Friday at a luxury hotel in Mali and indicated the violence was aimed at destroying peace efforts in the country.

"The secretary general deplores any attempt to derail the implementation of the agreement" signed in June between rival factions, said UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

Malian forces backed by French troops stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in the capital Bamako after suspected Islamist gunmen seized guests and staff in a nine-hour hostage crisis that left at least 18 people dead.

There was no immediate confirmation of any link to the Paris attacks last Friday that left 130 people dead, but Ban indicated the timing was tied to the fragile peace accord in Mali.

Ban noted that "these attacks are taking place at a time when the peace process is making good progress," said Dujarric.

Members of Mali's two main factions - the Tuareg-led Co-ordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA) and the Platform, a coalition of pro-government groups - were in Bamako to attend a meeting on implementing the deal with the government and international donors.

Ban expressed "his full support to the Malian authorities in their fight against terrorist and extremist groups" and said UN peacekeepers from the MINUSMA force were on hand to help.

Northern Mali fell under the control of Tuareg rebels and jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda in mid-2012 before they were beaten back by a French-led operation in early 2013.

The most powerful jihadist groups active in Mali are aligned with al-Qaeda rather than Islamic State, the extremist group which claimed the Paris attacks.



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