12 killed in terror attack at Ivory Coast beach resort

Accra (Ghana), March 14 (IANS) At least 12 people, including some foreign nationals, have been reported dead after an armed group attacked a popular restaurant on a beach close to the L’Etoile Sud Hotel at Grand Bassam resort outside the Ivorian capital Abidjan.

The Indian embassy in Abidjan could not confirm whether any Indian national was in the area where the attack took place.

There were, however, conflicting reports on the terror attack. A local resident, Etienne Konan, told IANS on phone that between two and 15 armed individuals attacked a popular restaurant on a beach at Grand Bassam which is popular with Westerners and Lebanese.

Konan said some of the media reports claimed that over 50 people were killed in the attack but the official casualty figure is still not out.

According to some reports, the situation has been brought under control after state security forces arrived at the scene.

“It is a worrying situation making the West African region a very dangerous place. It started in Mali where a hotel was attacked on November 20 last year. Then another attack took place at a hotel in Burkina Faso on January 15,” Konan said.

French security sources earlier this year had warned the authorities in Ivory Coast and Senegal of possible terror attacks in public areas.

Soon after Sunday’s attack, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a travel alert to its citizens.

“On 13 March, there have been reports of an armed attack at Grand Bassam resort near Abidjan. You should avoid the area if possible. If you are in the vicinity follow the instructions of the security authorities,” it said.

“There is a high threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners,” it added.

“As seen in Mali and Burkina Faso, terrorist groups continue to mount attacks on hotels frequented by foreigners. Be especially vigilant in these locations and avoid crowded places,” the advisory said.

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