Alwaght- At least 16 people including four Europeans were killed on Sunday after gunmen opened fire at a beach resort in Ivory Coast.
The incident happened at the Etoile du Sud complex in Grand Bassam, a resort popular with Western tourists, some 40 kilometers east of the West African country’s main city, Abidjan.
Eyewitnesses speak of at least four heavily-armed gunmen opening fire on tourists on the beach.
Local reports also suggest the assailants were masked and carried grenades.
Six assailants have been neutralized in the police operation so far, Ivory Coast’s Interior Ministry said.
“Three hotels in Grand Bassam were attacked this Sunday by armed men. Security and defense forces intervened immediately and were able to neutralize six terrorists. The clean-up operation is under way,” Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko said on state television.
A combined total of sixteen people, including fourteen civilians and two soldiers, were killed in the attack, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said.
“Six attackers came onto the beach in Bassam this afternoon ... We have 14 civilians and two special forces soldiers who were unfortunately killed,” said Ouattara, who visited the site where the assault took place.
There has been a high threat from terrorism in West Africa after recent Takfiri terrorist attacks in Mali and Burkina Faso which have left dozens of people dead.
Analysts have voiced fears that terrorist attacks could spread to countries such as Ivory Coast and Senegal. Western countries especially the United States and France are using the pretexts of terror threats to extend their hegemony and send their military forces on African countries.