Ivory Coast shooting: Gunmen attack beach resort of Grand-Bassam killing at least 16 people

 
Lynsey Barber
Follow Lynsey
ICOAST-UNESCO-CULTURE-TOURISM-HERITAGE
Grand-Bassam is a popular tourist destination on the coast (Source: Getty)

At least 16 people have been killed after Al-Qaeda-linked gunmen targeted a holiday resort in Ivory Coast, firing on a beach in Grand-Bassam.

At least two attackers launched an assault on the beach resort in the seaside town and are said to have entered a hotel there, local media reports suggest.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed the attack. The gunmen have been "neutralised", officials say.

A video claiming to be from the attack shows people running away while graphic images said to be of dead or injured were circulating on social media.

Grand-Bassam is a Unesco World Heritage site and former French colony located on the south east coast, popular with tourists. It's near the populous city of Abidjan, also the country's economic and commercial centre, where more than 20 per cent of the country's population lives.

France warned Ivory Coast and Senegal in January that Islamist militants were planning attacks against them, targeting public areas popular with foreigners and beaches, according to Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with intelligence reports.

Neighbouring countries Mali and Burkino Faso have been targeted by extremists associated with al Qaeda in recent months.

Ivory Coast, once held up as a model of stability slipped into civil war in recent years and has navigated various periods of violence and peace. It is the biggest cocoa producer in the world producing 40 per cent of the world's supply.

The identity of the attackers has not yet been identified.

This breaking news story is being updated as more information emerges - please refresh the page for the most recent version.

To keep on top of the biggest news stories as they happen, follow @CityAM on Twitter. You can also sign up for our newsletter alerts for updates throughout the day.