Knife attack against Mali interim President Assimi Goita
Published: 04:49 PM, 20 July 2021
Mali’s interim President Assimi Goita
Mali’s interim President Assimi Goita has been attacked by two armed men, including one who wielded a knife, according to AFP news agency.
The attack on Tuesday took place during prayers in the Great Mosque in the capital, Bamako, amid festivities for the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha.
Goita has since been taken from the scene, according to an AFP journalist who witnessed the attack. It was not immediately clear whether he had been wounded.
Religious Affairs Minister Mamadou Kone told AFP that a man had “tried to kill the president with a knife” but was apprehended.
Latus Toure, the director of the Great Mosque, said an attacker had lunged for the president but wounded someone else.
The president was sworn into office last month despite facing a diplomatic backlash over his second power grab in nine months.
In August 2020, Colonel Goita had led a military coup that removed embattled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after months of anti-government protests over perceived corruption and the failure to tackle a deteriorating security crisis that first emerged in 2012.
In late May, Goita, who was serving as Mali’s vice president in a transitional government tasked with leading the country back to civilian rule in February 2022, seized power again after accusing interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane of failing to consult him about a cabinet reshuffle.