An assassination attack was attempted on Mali’s interim president of Mali, Colonel Assimi Goïta while he was out on prayers grounds in Bamako on Tuesday.

The unknown armed men engaged Goita in a knife attack right after Eid al-Adha prayers at the Grand Mosque in the capital, Bamako, the president’s office said.

Assailants went for the president as an imam was directing worshippers outside the mosque for a ritual animal sacrifice.

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An AFP journalist who witnessed the attack said the assailants lunged at Goïta, who was quickly whisked away by security.

He also said he saw blood at the scene, though it was not clear who had been wounded.

However, Goita has announced that he is ‘doing well.’

“That’s part of being a leader, there are always malcontents,” he said in a statement broadcast on state television channel ORTM.

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“There are people who at any time may want to try things to cause instability.”

Goïta arrived at the military camp of Kati, outside the capital, “where security has been reinforced”, the official added.

Security had subdued one attacker, and “investigations are ongoing”, the presidency added in a statement.

Goita had only recently taken over power in a coup led by him against the elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta first last year August and another against the interim government earlier this year.

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The second coup in nine months sparked diplomatic uproar, prompting the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to suspend Mali, calling for the appointment of a civilian prime minister.

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