Mali’s president has shrugged off an attempt on his life during prayers to mark the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha – saying “it’s part of being a leader”.
“Everything is fine. There is no problem,” Assimi Goïta told reporters, hours after two men launched the attack at the Grande Mosque in the capital Bamako.
One was armed with a knife, according to reports, and tried to stab him.
However, they failed to injure Col Goïta, who led a military takeover last August, and were arrested swiftly.
“It’s part of being a leader,” the interim president continued. “There are always people who are unhappy, there are people who at any time can try things to destabilise, to try isolated actions. It’s an isolated action, it was handled.
“I want to reassure people and say that I am very well, there is no problem, no one was injured and the situation was handled.”