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Two EU staff killed in Mali attack: Mogherini

Outlook 2017-06-19 00:00:00

Luxembourg, Jun 19 The two civilians killed in a jihadist attack on a Mali tourist resort were both working for the European Union, the bloc's foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said today


Luxembourg, Jun 19 The two civilians killed in a jihadist attack on a Mali tourist resort were both working for the European Union, the bloc's foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said today.

"Unfortunately, I can confirm that there were two victims among our European Union colleagues, a Malian woman and a Portuguese man," Mogherini said after an EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg.

She said their deaths showed how strong EU ties with Mali and the region were as it struggles to cope with devastating poverty and an increasing terror threat.

The EU runs an advisory mission to help train the Mali armed forces and maintains a delegation in the capital, Bamako.

The Malian government said four attackers were killed and 36 hostages freed, with another five suspected jihadists in custody over yesterday's attack near Bamako.

Jihadists are active in Mali's troubled north and centre but attacks on civilians in and around the capital are much rarer.

The last major attack on civilians was in November 2015 when gunmen stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, killing 20 people.