Alpha Oumar Konare. File photo: Gurinder Osan


Bamako - One gunman was killed during an armed assault on the private residence of former Malian president Alpha Oumar Konare in the country's capital, guards said on Saturday.

Konare, who was head of state from 1992 to 2002, was away from the property in the eastern outskirts of Bamako when the attack took place on Friday night.

But his wife, historian Adame Ba Konare, was at home with the couple's grandchildren when around ten gunmen stormed the compound, a member of the family's official guard told AFP.

“More than ten people dressed in civilian clothes cut the electricity in the area, climbed the walls and fired inside the Konare residence,” he said.

“At the moment, we do not know who carried out or ordered it. But they wanted to kill. We retaliated in self-defence, this is when one of the attackers was killed,” the guard said.

“Everything happened quickly. The light was cut in the residence, we heard gunshots and the guards responded.”

Malian police recovered “at least one mobile phone” from the body of the assailant who was killed, a source close to the force said.

“We already know that the assailants attacked the premises in one group, who came from the north side of the residence, and another which arrived from the Niger river side,” he added.

Since his voluntary departure from power in 2002, Konare has remained largely private, avoiding commenting on Malian political life. - Sapa-AFP