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One terrorist killed, two suspects arrested after attack in Bamako

BAMAKO, March 22 (Xinhua) -- One terrorist was killed and two suspects arrested on Monday by Malian police who intervened after a terrorist attack against a hotel in Bamako, Mali's Internal Security Minister Col.Maj. Salif Traore said.

Nord-Sud hotel, closed to other customers for over two years, has been hosting the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM), which trains Malian soldiers.

"At around 6:40 p.m. we were alerted by gun shots. We sought to determine the exact objective of the assailants who numbered between two and three. We knew the target could either be the nearby Ora Bank or Nord-Sud hotel that hosts EUTM," the minister said.

"We then realised that Nord-Sud hotel had come under attack. EUTM soldiers and Malian police who guard the building responded immediately and one of the assailants was killed. We are currently examining the contents of the bag he had which could contain explosives," Traore said, adding that "two suspects from a nearby house were arrested and they are undergoing interrogation.

"Operations will continue on the ground with large deployment of Malian special forces. They will comb all the buildings around Nord-Sud hotel to ensure the whole area is clean," the minister assured.

A few minutes earlier, in a short statement, a EUTM officer told Xinhua their headquarters had been attacked by two assailants, with one of them killed. According to him, the mission did not lose any of its officers and none of them was injured.

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