The New York Times is reporting the fatal attack on Ivory coast hotels. Gunmen stormed three resort hotels south of the capital on Sunday afternoon in an attack that killed 16 people and pierced the calm that had prevailed in Ivory Coast in recent years.
The attack took place in Grand-Bassam, a popular seaside getaway for Ivorians and foreigners alike. Fourteen civilians and two soldiers were killed, according to a spokeswoman for the president, as well as six of the attackers.
A Qaeda affiliate, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying three of its “knights” had attacked the hotels.
The town of Grand-Bassam, with its 19th- and 20th-century colonial architecture, is a Unesco World Heritage Site. The onetime French trading post “bears witness to the complex social relations between Europeans and Africans, and to the subsequent independence movement,” according to the Unesco website.
Sunday’s bloodshed is the latest in a string of attacks on foreigners in West African countries. In January, militants attacked a hotel and cafe in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, that was frequented by foreigners. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said it was behind that attack. In November, that group and another jihadist organization claimed responsibility for an assault on the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, the capital of Mali.