Bamako, Jul 20 (EFE).- Mali’s interim president escaped unscathed from an attempted knife attack as he prayed at a mosque in the capital after his bodyguards took down the assailant.
A statement from colonel Assimi Goita’s office said the attempted stabbing took place at the Grand Mosque of Bamako.
“The assailant was immediately overpowered by security,” the statement added.
Goita had been attending prayers for the Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, the most important on the Muslim calendar.
The attempt took place as the congregation headed to the exit and the Grand Iman went to symbolically slaughter the first ram, as is tradition during Eid al-Adha.
The interim president’s bodyguards quickly took control of the situation.
A second alleged attacker is on the run.
The motive behind the attempted attack remains unknown, although Mali is currently going through a restive period following two coups in just one year, both led by Goita, 37, and soldiers loyal to him.
Goita is currently the transitional president of Mali for a scheduled period of 18 months, which is due to end in February, as per an agreement signed by the coup organizers and the community of West African nations (ECOWAS). EFE