24th October 2021
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Man accused of trying to kill Mali president dies in custody

Author: AFP | Published: Monday, July 26, 2021

Security personnel escort an alleged attacker (C) from The Grand Fayçal Mosque in Bamako on July 20, 2021, after two assailants attempted to stab Mali's interim transitional President Colonel Assimi Goita during Eid al-Adha prayers at the mosque in the Malian capital. PHOTO/AFP

A man accused of trying to kill Mali’s military strongman Assimi Goita, the figure behind two coups in less than a year, has died in custody, the government said on Sunday.

The suspect, whose identity has not been revealed, had been taken into custody following the assassination attempt after prayers for Eid al-Adha at Bamako’s Grand Mosque on Tuesday.

Once in custody, “his health deteriorated” and he was then hospitalised, but “unfortunately, he has died”, the government said in a statement.

This image taken from video shows Mali’s interim president Assimi Goita (C) as he waves to supporters after Eid al-Adha prayers at The Grande Mosque in Bamako on July 20, 2021, following an attack during prayers by armed men. AFP PHOTO

According to an AFP reporter at the scene on Tuesday, Goita was whisked away after a man armed with a knife lunged at him.

The leader later appeared on state TV to say he was doing “very well” and downplayed the significance of the assault.

“That’s part of being a leader, there are always malcontents,” he said. “There are people who at any time may want to try things to cause instability.”

Mali prosecutors had opened an inquiry into the incident.

On Sunday, the government said that an autopsy had been ordered to determine the cause of the suspect’s death.

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