Shots were heard Friday at dawn in Kati, a garrison town in the suburbs of Bamako, heart of the Malian military and home of the transitional president, Colonel Assimi Goïta, an AFP journalist and local residents noted.
The French embassy warned its citizens by SMS of an « attack in progress in Kati », recommending caution.
« It was around 5:00 am (05:00 GMT) that unidentified gunmen attacked the town of Kati, » a resident told AFP by phone, preferring to remain anonymous for security reasons.
« We were awakened by gunfire at 5 a.m. and the sound of explosions, we don’t know what’s going on, » confirmed another resident, as well as a third living in this garrison town: « Our camp is under attack, » he said.
A deployment of Malian special forces was visible at 8:00 a.m. and two army helicopters were flying in the sky, noted an AFP journalist, who also heard detonations inside the camp.
The cause of the shooting, the detonations and the deployment of soldiers was not immediately clear and local authorities could not be reached immediately.