What you need to know:
- The attacker was immediately overpowered by bodyguards, the presidential office said, adding that investigations are ongoing.
Mali's presidential office on Tuesday said there was an attempted stabbing attack against the West African country's transitional president, Assimi Goita at the Grand Mosque of Bamako.
In a statement on Twitter, the office said the attacker was immediately overpowered by the bodyguards, adding that investigations were ongoing.
According to local media outlet Malijet, the country's largest news portal, the attempted attack happened while Goita was attending the prayer of Tabaski (Eid al-Adha).
"The attacker tried to stab the president when the imam was leaving to sacrifice his sheep. But it was another person who was hurt," it reported.
AFP reported that two armed men, including one who wielded a knife, staged the attack.
Goita has since been taken from the scene, according to an AFP journalist who witnessed the incident. The journalist said it was not immediately clear whether the leader had been wounded.
Religious Affairs Minister Mamadou Kone told AFP that a man had "tried to kill the president with a knife" but was apprehended.
Latus Toure, the director of the Great Mosque, said an attacker had lunged for the president but wounded someone else.
AFP was not immediately able to confirm the accounts.
Appointed transitional vice-president after the mutiny in 2020, which forced the resignation of then president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Colonel Goita was proclaimed on May 28 this year as the transitional president by the Constitutional Court of Mali.
This followed the resignation of the former transitional president Bah N'Daw.
Colonel Goita had led a coup last August, ousting Keita after weeks of mass protests over corruption and the long-running jihadist conflict.
In May, he ousted a transitional government that had been entrusted with the task of leading the country back to civilian rule in February 2022.
He was then named transitional president, but has pledged to keep to the goal for returning to civilian government.
In recent years, central and northern Mali have been plagued by a worrying security situation marked by terrorist attacks and inter-communal conflict.
In recent months, the security threat has spread to the country's south, where the massive presence of Islamist fighters has been reported.
Mali has been struggling to contain an jihadist insurgency that first emerged in the north of the country in 2012, and has since spread to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.
The conflict has also been mirrored by political instability in the capital.
Late June this year, the UN Security Council decided to renew the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) until June 30, 2022, in efforts to support the country's political transition ahead of presidential and legislative elections slated for February 27, 2022.