Al-Qaeda linked gunmen kill 16 in Ivory Coast
At least six armed men attacked beachgoers outside three hotels in Grand-Bassam on Sunday, killing at least 14 civilians and two special forces while sending tourists fleeing through the historic Ivory Coast resort town.
Bloody bodies were sprawled on the beach before being taken away by security forces and Ivorian Red Cross workers.
Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara said that 14 civilians, two special forces and the six assailants were killed after the armed men attacked beachgoers and three hotels in Grand-Bassam.
Ouattara travelled to the town later on Sunday and said he will visit the different hotels to express condolences and salute security forces for their quick responses.
Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for the attack, according to SITE Intelligence Group which monitors extremist websites.
The group made the declaration in a post to its Telegram channels, calling three of the attackers "heroes" for the assault on the Grand Bassam beach resort.
The bursts of gunfire sent people running from the beach at Grand-Bassam, a UNESCO World Heritage site and popular destination for Ivorians and foreigners about 40 kilometres (25 miles) east of Abidjan, Ivory Coast's commercial centre.
It was the third major attack on a tourism centre in West Africa since November.