Mali’s interim President Assimi Goïta has been attacked by two armed men, including one who wielded a knife, AFP reports
It was gathered that the attack took place on Tuesday during prayers in the Great Mosque in the country’s capital, Bamako, while the Muslim celebration and festival of Eid al-Adha were ongoing.
A reporter with AFP who witnessed the attack said Goïta has since been taken from the scene It was not immediately confirmed to newsmen whether president Goïta sustained injuries or not.
Religious Affairs Minister Mamadou Kone confirmed that a man had “tried to kill the president with a knife” but was apprehended.
The director of the Great Mosque, identified as Latus Toure also confirmed the attack. He said an attacker had lunged for the president but wounded someone else.
Despite facing a diplomatic backlash over his second power grab in nine months, President Assimi Goïta, 37, was sworn into office last month.
It’s on record that Colonel Goïta in August 2020 took over power from the embattled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after months of anti-government protests due to perceived corruption and the failure to tackle a deteriorating security crisis that first emerged in the country in 2012.
In late May, President Goïta, who was serving as Mali’s vice president in a transitional government was tasked with leading the country back to civilian rule in February 2022. He took over power again after accusing the then interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane of failing to consult him about a cabinet reshuffle.