Former leader of a special forces battalion, Colonel Goïta, author of two putschs in less than a year, including the one who overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on August 18, 2020, reelected two years previously, has not been traveling for nine months never without his men, hooded and armed with assault rifles.
An ongoing investigation
It was after the prayer of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim feast of the Sacrifice, while the imam was heading for the exit of the mosque to slaughter the sheep that the facts unfolded. President Goïta was then taken away and did not appear to have been touched, noted an AFP journalist. Asked by AFP to know if it was an “assassination attempt” of the transitional president, an official of his services replied: “Yes, absolutely”.
He is “safe and sound,” said the same source, detailing: “We are investigating. At least one person tried to attack him with a knife at the Grand Mosque in Bamako that day ”. Present at the scene, the Minister of Religious Affairs, Mamadou Koné, told AFP that “a man immediately tried in the Great Mosque of Bamako to kill the president of the transition with a knife”.
But “he was well controlled before committing his package,” he added. “It was after the imam’s prayer and sermon, when the imam should go and sacrifice his sheep, that the young man tried to stab Assimi (Goïta) from the back, but it was another person who been injured ”, confirmed to AFP Latus Tourè, manager of the mosque.
No privileged track
The mosque of King Faisal was then emptied of its faithful and its surroundings regained calm about fifteen minutes later once the president of the transition was taken to the military headquarters in the garrison town of Kati, about fifteen km from Bamako, according to its services.
In the great mosque, he was seated on Tuesday morning with other dignitaries of the regime, as is customary for the “big feast”, nicknamed Tabaski in West Africa, before everyone joins their respective families.
One of the two attackers portrayed a turban, according to the same observation by AFP. No track could be favored on Tuesday at midday, in a country very unstable politically and in the grip of multifaceted violence since 2012.