Policemen stand near the La Terrasse restaurant, as seen in the background with the blue curtains, in Bamako, Mali on Saturday.

BAMAKO, Mali — Militants killed five people including a French citizen and a Belgian citizen in a gun attack on a restaurant in the capital of Mali, authorities said on Saturday.

Mali’s desert north, where French forces wrested control of territory from separatist rebels and al Qaeda-linked militants, is hit by frequent political violence, but this is the first such attack for years in the capital, Bamako, in the south.

Two Malians died in the overnight attack on the La Terrasse, a restaurant frequented by expatriates, a senior Malian intelligence official told Reuters, while the nationality of the fifth dead person was unclear.

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