Yamoussoukro (Ivory Coast), Mar. 15 (ANI): In a recent development, reports say that the gunmen from al-Qaida’s North African branch drank beer at a beachside bar before launching an attack on the Ivory Coast resort town of Grand-Bassam that killed at least 18 people.
Gunmen stormed into hotels in Grand-Bassam, a weekend retreat popular with Ivorians and westerners about 40 km east of the commercial capital Abidjan on Sunday.
Fifteen civilians and three members of the Special Forces were killed and while several were injured in the attack.
Three militants also died in the attack.
The details and the officials account from the Sunday’s raid shows a worrying indication of the growth of militants reach and specifically from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM).
The attack on Grand-Bassam shows the latest target as Islamic State, al-Qaida and their local affiliate’s battle to extend their sphere of influence.
The Sunday attack is the group’s their third attack in West Africa in four months.
Interior minister Hamed Bakayoko yesterday had said that another 26 wounded were receiving medical attention, while President Alassane Ouattara declared three days of mourning for the country, which has never been hit by al-Qaida before, reports the Guardian. (ANI)