The scars of deadly attack still evident at Grand-Bassam beach resort in Ivory Coast after seven years.
Grand-Bassam, a popular beach resort located about 40 kilometers from Abidjan, is now known for the tragic event that occurred there. It was the site of the first major terrorist attack in Ivory Coast, which took place on March 13, 2016, resulting in 19 fatalities, including nine foreigners, and leaving 33 people injured. Four men were given life imprisonment for their role in aiding and abetting the terrorists, while the alleged masterminds were sentenced in absentia. Despite this, the trial revealed little about the attack. France 24’s Sophie Lamotte and Sadia Mandjo report from Grand-Bassam.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Grand-Bassam is home to a magnificent beach on the Atlantic Ocean that is frequented by tourists, including expats and Ivorians. On that day in 2016, three attackers with Kalashnikovs opened fire on the beach and hotels along the coast, causing a 45-minute horror show until the gunmen were eventually killed by Ivorian special forces.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for the attack, which was apparently a retaliatory measure for Ivory Coast’s cooperation with France in counter-jihadist activities in the wider Sahel region. A few months earlier, Ivory Coast had detained members of AQIM and deported them to Mali.