TIMBUKTU, Mali (AA) – Unidentified gunmen on Friday stormed a hotel in northwestern Mali that houses UN staff, shortly after a similar attack on a UN base nearby, local sources told Anadolu Agency.
The La Palmeraie hotel in Timbuktu houses the Nigerian contingent of the UN peacekeepers in the country’s northern region, eyewitnesses said. They added that the gunmen may have taken an unknown number of hostages.
Shortly before the gunfire erupted, a loud explosion, believed to be a car bomb, was heard near a checkpoint in the city, which is controlled by UN troops and the Malian army.
At least two people were killed in Friday’s attacks, a security source told Anadolu Agency.
Recent months have seen sporadic militant attacks on UN peacekeepers and Malian army personnel.
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