UN calls for swift justice after 'heinous' Mali attack

The La Terrasse bar restaurant, also housing a nightclub, that was attacked in Bamako on March 7, 2015, where five people including two Europeans and a Malian police officer were killed in an assault (AFP Photo/Habibou Kouyate) (AFP)

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - The United Nations Security Council strongly condemned an attack on a Bamako nightclub that killed five people Saturday, including two Europeans and a Malian policeman, calling for swift justice.

At least one masked gunman entered the club in the Malian capital around 1:00 am (0100 GMT) and sprayed the venue with automatic gunfire and threw grenades, witnesses said.

It marked the first attack targeting Westerners in a city braced for violent extremism since 2012.

"The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in Bamako," a statement read.

It said demining personnel of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali and the European Union were among the dead.

Malian police and the MINUSMA peacekeeping force said a French national, a Belgian and three Malians had died in the attack.

Hospital sources said eight people were wounded, including three Swiss nationals, one of them a woman.

"The members of the Security Council called on the government of Mali to swiftly investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice and stressed that those responsible for the attack shall be held accountable," the statement said.

"The members of the Security Council reminded States that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law."

No group claimed responsibility but suspicion will fall on Islamist rebels operating in Mali's vast desert north, which has struggled for stability since a coup three years ago.

Expressing their "deepest condolences to the families of the victims of this heinous act," the council members urged a renewed effort to "bring lasting peace and stability" to the restive country.

"The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed," the statement added.