(AFP) – Two people tried to stab this Tuesday morning at Acting President of Mali, Colonel Assimi Goita, during the celebration of the Muslim ritual of the Eid al adha, or Feast of the Sacrifice, in the great mosque of Bamako, according to an AFP journalist.
The attack took place after the prayer and when the imam of the mosque was heading towards outside to slaughter a lamb. President Goita was evacuated and did not appear injured, AFP found.
Consulted by the AFP on whether the act could be considered as a “assassination attempt”, the services of the president responded that “yes, totally”.
“We are investigating. At least one person tried to attack him today with a knife in the Great Mosque of Bamako “added the same source, who stated that “the president is safe and sound.”
Present in the place, the Minister of Religious Affairs, Mamadou Koné, explained to AFP that a “man tried to kill the acting president with a knife in the great mosque of Bamako.”
“But he was reduced before committing his crime “he added.
“It was after the prayer and the sermon, at the time when the imam was going to sacrifice the lamb, the young man tried to stab Assimi (Goita) in the back, but another person was injured, ”Latus Touré, administrator of the great mosque, confirmed to AFP.
Mali was the scene of two coups in less than a year, in August 2020 and in May, at the hands of the same military positions. Colonel Assimi Goia took over the country as interim president.
This ancient commander of a special forces battalion has not been deployed for nine months without the company of his hooded men armed with assault rifles.
Colonel Goita and the new government, appointed by the military junta, assure that they will respect their promise to cede command to civilians after the elections scheduled for February 27, 2022.