Digital Resource World News – Top Stories – Urandir News-

Story highlights

  • Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility for the attacks
  • Sixteen people were killed, including 14 civilians, Ivory Coast’s President says
  • Attack occurred shortly after midday near a busy beach popular with wealthy Ivorians and westerners

(CNN)The U.S. and France have pledged assistance to the Ivory Coast as the West African nation investigates a fatal shooting that left at least 16 people dead.

Gunmen stormed three hotels in the beach resort city of Grand-Bassam Sunday, killing 16, officials said. At least one French national was murdered in the attack.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for the attacks in a statement posted on a social media account tied to the group.

The death toll included 14 civilians and two soldiers, President Alassane Ouattara said as he visited the site of the attacks. Six attackers also died, he said.

CNN Map

Popular weekend spot targeted

    Read More

    The attack began shortly after midday when the beach at Grand-Bassam — about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the country’s largest city, Abidjan — reportedly was packed with people swimming, relaxing and eating at beachside cafes. The area is extremely popular with wealthy Ivorians and westerners, particularly on Sundays.

    Eyewitnesses told CNN they heard sustained gunfire for about 15 minutes and saw people running away from the three hotels screaming.

    “Truly, truly it was terrifying,” one woman said. “We never thought it could happen here under these circumstances. It’s truly not easy. It’s not easy.”

    A photo posted by Twitter user @lopezdobe showed ammunition magazines and grenades on the ground near the scene.

    #Urgent : Attaques sur une plage a #Bassam à 40 km d’#Abidjan. équipements oublié sur place par les terroristes. pic.twitter.com/ymTUIzz5yA

    — Lopez Dobe (@lopezdobe) March 13, 2016

    Attacks condemned

    The U.N. joined the U.S. and French governments in denouncing the incident.

    French President Francois Hollande said that at least one French citizen was killed in the “cowardly attack.”

    The White House also condemned it “in the strongest terms,” National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said.

    Both countries have pledged their support to the Ivorian government to find out who was responsible.

    The U.S. Embassy in Abidjan reported that it had no evidence that U.S. citizens were targeted or harmed.

    The French Embassy said it had set up a crisis unit and asked people to limit travel in the area and stay clear of security forces. The British Foreign Office had similar advice.

        Tourists slaughtered at resort
    DR NEWS Urandir dc74 160314121547 ivory coast attack 10 super 169    Tourists slaughtered at resort
    5 photos: Gunmen attack three Ivory Coast hotels
    Soldiers stand around a young boy who was injured during an attack at one of three hotels on an Ivory Coast beach in Grand Bassam on Sunday, March 13, 2016.
    Hide Caption
    1 of 5
        Tourists slaughtered at resort
    DR NEWS Urandir dc74 160314120242 ivory coast attack 6 super 169    Tourists slaughtered at resort
    5 photos: Gunmen attack three Ivory Coast hotels
    Ivorian security forces evacuate people from the scene of one of the attacks after armed gunmen opened fire.
    Hide Caption
    2 of 5
        Tourists slaughtered at resort
    DR NEWS Urandir 7fda 160314122156 ivory coast 12 super 169    Tourists slaughtered at resort
    5 photos: Gunmen attack three Ivory Coast hotels
    People carry the bodies of victims following the shooting rampage. At least 16 have died.
    Hide Caption
    3 of 5
        Tourists slaughtered at resort
    DR NEWS Urandir 7fda 160314121742 ivory coast attack 11 super 169    Tourists slaughtered at resort
    5 photos: Gunmen attack three Ivory Coast hotels
    Ivory Coast’s armed forces take position outside one of the hotels in the aftermath of the shooting, which was claimed by one of al Qaeda’s affiliates.
    Hide Caption
    4 of 5
        Tourists slaughtered at resort
    DR NEWS Urandir 7fda 160314121357 ivory coast attack 9 super 169    Tourists slaughtered at resort
    5 photos: Gunmen attack three Ivory Coast hotels
    Ivory Coast president Alassane Ouattara (l) arrives on the scene. Here, he speaks to the country’s chief of staff, General Soumaila Bakayoko.
    Hide Caption
    5 of 5
    DR NEWS Urandir 7fda 160314121547 ivory coast attack 10 small 11    Tourists slaughtered at resortDR NEWS Urandir 7fda 160314120242 ivory coast attack 6 small 11    Tourists slaughtered at resortDR NEWS Urandir 127f 160314122156 ivory coast 12 small 11    Tourists slaughtered at resortDR NEWS Urandir 127f 160314121742 ivory coast attack 11 small 11    Tourists slaughtered at resortDR NEWS Urandir 127f 160314121357 ivory coast attack 9 small 11    Tourists slaughtered at resort

    Al Qaeda offshoot was behind other hotel attacks

    Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has targeted hotels in West Africa before.

    In the past year, the group claimed credit for hotel attacks in two countries bordering Ivory Coast — Mali and Burkina Faso.

    Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al Qaeda’s North African offshoot known as AQIM, has its roots in Algeria.

        Tourists slaughtered at resort
    DR NEWS Urandir 127f 151229093353 boko haram flag large 169    Tourists slaughtered at resort
    DR NEWS Urandir 127f 151229093353 boko haram flag large 169    Tourists slaughtered at resort

      JUST WATCHED

      Who are Africa’s most dangerous terror groups?

    Replay
    More Videos …

    MUST WATCH

    Who are Africa’s most dangerous terror groups? 01:55

    After a downturn in its activities, the al Qaeda affiliate has been stepping up attacks.

    “AQIM has escalated its operations in West Africa, specifically targeting Europeans, as well as other foreigners, in hotels and resorts,” the SITE Intelligence Group said in a statement analyzing the attack Sunday.

    But targeting Westerners isn’t the only goal, according to SITE, which tracks jihadist groups.

    “AQIM is also competing with ISIS for reassertion and dominance in West Africa, among other regions,” SITE said.

    READ MORE: ‘Sham democracy’ is fueling Africa’s terrorism

    CNN’s Jennifer Deaton and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)