Three EU citizens are believed to be among five people killed after gunmen armed with a machine gun and grenades stormed a nightclub in Mali.
A French man was shot dead at the La Terrasse bar in the capital of Bamako and two Malian men were shot and fatally wounded as the gunmen fled the building. One of the Malian men is understood to be a police officer.
A Belgian man was killed when a grenade was thrown at his car and a third European national died in hospital, according to theBBC. At least eight people have been injured.
Witnesses say the attackers shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great). Officials told Reuters two people had been arrested in connection with the attacks, although little is known about the identity of the suspects.
President Francois Hollande said in a statement on Saturday that security had immediately been tightened around French facilities while the embassy set up a crisis cell to help expatriates.
The bar, in the busy Hippodrome district, is reportedly popular with expatriates.
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius condemned the “cowardly” attack and confirmed one man had been killed in a statement on Saturday.
He warned the shooting strengthened France’s resolve to “fight terrorism in all its forms”.
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders also denounced the violence and said it may have been a terrorist attack.