Armed men attack Mali interim president during Eid prayers


Mali’s interim President, Assimi Goita, has been targeted in an attempted stabbing attack after Eid al-Adha prayers at the Grand Mosque in the capital, Bamako.

However, Goita managed to escape as he was whisked away from the scene.

His office said the attacker was immediately overpowered by security while investigations are ongoing.

Religious Affairs Minister Mamadou Kone said a man had “tried to kill the president with a knife” but was apprehended.

Goita later announced that he was doing “very well” following the attack.

“Everything is fine. There is no problem. It’s part of being a leader,” the interim president continued. “There are always people who are unhappy, there are people who at any time can try things to destabilise, to try isolated actions. It’s an isolated action, it was handled.

“I want to reassure people and say that I am very well, there is no problem, no one was injured and the situation was handled,” Goita told reporters.

The attack follows months of political turmoil in Mali, which is also battling an Islamist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

In June, Goita was sworn in as the transitional president after leading an internationally condemned coup.

It was the second time he had led such a coup, after a similar putsch in August 2020. The initial coup, orchestrated by Goita and other army officers, ousted elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after weeks of mass protests over corruption and the long-running conflict.

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