What you need to know:
- The government assured that the suspect’s death will not prevent the investigation, noting preliminary findings indicated the man did not act alone.
The only suspect in an alleged attempted assassination of Mali’s interim President has died, authorities announced on Sunday.
The man died in detention amid investigations into the attack on Colonel Assimi Goita, the government said in a statement.
The suspect, whose identity remains undisclosed, was detained last Tuesday after attempting to stab Col Goita during Eid prayers at the Grand Mosque in the capital, Bamako.
He reportedly sustained injuries after he was taken into custody and died in hospital, according to the government.
“During investigations, his health deteriorated and he was then hospitalised. Unfortunately, he has died,” the statement said, adding an investigation would determine the cause of death and that a post-mortem exam would be carried out.
The government assured that the suspect’s death will not prevent the investigation, noting preliminary findings indicated the man did not act alone.
"The public will be kept informed of the results of the autopsy and the outcome of the investigations.”
The President, who was taken away from the scene of the attack, later addressed the issue on state TV, assuring he was doing fine.
He said the attacker was part of an unnamed group trying to destabilise the country.
Col Goita reiterated this during a meeting with religious and traditional leaders who paid him a visit at his office on Friday, following the attempted stabbing.
He said that as a servant of the people, he will make the ultimate sacrifice if that is God’s plan for him in his mission to save Mali.
"We are in power to meet the needs of the people. We are here for Mali and will do our part as the sons of this country to leave a legacy of a better Mali for future generations," he said.
Col Goita is leading a one-year term of a transitional government installed after the overthrow of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August 2020.
The former special forces soldier first served as vice president in the transition government headed by civilian President Bah Ndaw, who was later removed following disagreements.
The West African country was suspended by the regional bloc, Ecowas, over this matter.