Portugal says 1 of its soldiers killed in Mali terror attack


European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has confirmed that two members of EU's military training mission have been killed in Mali.

A Malian member of the EU's delegation was also killed, Mogherini said.

As Westerners fled four police vehicles and French soldiers in armoured vehicles arrived on the scene while a helicopter circled overhead, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

One of the dead at the Le Campement Kangaba resort, which is popular with Western expatriates, was a French-Gabonese national, Mali security ministry spokesman Baba Cisse stated.

An al-Qaida-linked Islamic militant group has said it staged Sunday's attack on a resort area in Mali popular with foreigners, killing five people, including a Portuguese soldier who had been serving in the European Union mission to stabilize this West African country wracked by mounting extremism.

The group, also known as Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimeen in Arabic, said the attackers were from the Fula ethnic group and battled for "many hours" at the popular eco-lodge near Bamako, which it termed a site of "debauchery".

Yesterday's attack is the latest in a series of high-profile assaults in north and west Africa, targeting locals and tourists.

The attack was blamed on terrorists but has not yet been claimed.

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A Malian military spokesman had said there were believed to be several people inside the Campement Kangaba near Bamako.

Mali security forces killed five of the assailants, the security minister said on Monday.

Eyewitnesses, however, told Anadolu Agency that more than seven people were killed in the attack, including three civilians and one Malian soldier.

In a video released in March, jihadists said those two were joining together along with two Mali-based terror groups.

Other governments are anxious too: on June 9th, the United States embassy warned its citizens against an "increased threat" against locations frequented by Westerners in Bamako.

Samake said Monday that the Kangaba attack "bore all the hallmarks" of the Radisson Blu assault.

Aside, Mali, the 3,000-strong force is fighting insurgents in the entire Sahel region comprising Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Mauritania.

Malian special forces, assisted by the Minusma blue helmets, have cordoned off the zone where the tourist complex is located, while the attackers seem to have taken refuge on a hill within the area.