A coup d’état has been foiled in the Republic of Mali as the interim president of the West African country, Colonel Assimi Goita on Tuesday escaped an assassination attempt.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports two armed men attacked Goita who himself led a coup that ousted elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita last August.
The attack happened at the great mosque in Mali’s capital of Bamako during prayers for the Islamic festival of Eid-el-Kabir, with one of the attackers wielding a knife.
Goita has since been taken from the scene, but it was not immediately clear if the interim president was wounded.
Religious Affairs Minister Mamadou Kone said 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.
Mali has been 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.
The conflict has also been mirrored by political instability in the capital.
Colonel Goita led a coup last August, ousting elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after weeks of mass protests over corruption and the long-running jihadist conflict.
In May, he ousted a transitional government that had been entrusted with the task of leading the country back to civilian rule in February 2022.
He was then named transitional president but has pledged to keep to the goal of returning to civilian government.