Two armed men, including one wielding a knife, attacked Mali’s interim president Assimi Goita on Tuesday in the grand mosque in the capital Bamako, an AFP journalist noted.
The attack took place during prayers on the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha.
Goita has since been removed from the scene, according to the reporter, who said it was not immediately clear whether he was injured.
Religious Affairs Minister Mamadou Koné told AFP that a man “tried to kill the president with a knife” but was apprehended.
Latus Touré, the director of the Grand Mosque, said an attacker rushed at the president but injured someone else.
AFP was unable to immediately confirm the accounts.
Mali is struggling to contain a jihadist insurgency that first emerged in the north of the country in 2012 and has since spread to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.
# photo1The conflict has also resulted in political instability in the capital.
Colonel Goita led a coup in August last year, toppling President-elect Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after weeks of mass protests against corruption and the long-standing jihadist conflict.
In May, he toppled a transitional government that had been tasked with returning the country to civilian rule in February 2022.
He was later appointed transitional president, but pledged to respect the goal of returning to civilian government.
mk-kd-sd-eml / ri
© 2021 AFP