Senegal interior minister gives security ultimatum to hotels

Senegal’s government has told hotels to improve security or face closure, after recent terror attacks in the region.

Authorities would have no choice but to close hotels which failed to introduce the measures in the coming days, the interior minister told local media.

Terror attacks on hotels in nearby Mali and Burkina Faso have left more than 50 dead since November.

France has warned Senegal and Ivory Coast of attacks being planned on their major cities, Bloomberg news reports.

Earlier, the US issued a warning to its nationals in Ivory Coast’s main city Abidjan and the Senegalese capital Dakar, telling them to avoid popular tourist spots and other public places.

The message said that US authorities had intercepted messages mentioning terror attacks in the two cities.

Senegal is one of the most popular tourist destinations in French-speaking West Africa.

Thirty people were killed in an attack last week by Islamist militants on the luxury Splendid Hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou.

Armed police have been stationed at major hotels since the deadly attack on a hotel in the Malian capital Bamako in November, the BBC’s Abdourahmane Dia reports from Dakar.

Interior Minister Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo told MPs on Thursday that Senegalese security forces would be stepping up patrols to guard against possible attacks.

Senegal has so far avoided a major attack by Islamist militants.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI) said it was behind both of the recent attacks in Mali and Burkina Faso.

It is based in the Sahara Desert, moving between Mali, Niger and Algeria.

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Source: BBC