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Goethe Institute head killed in Ivory Coast terror attack

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Goethe Institute head killed in Ivory Coast terror attack
The L'Etoile du Sud hotel, where guests were killed in a terror attack on Sunday. Photo: EPA/DPA.
08:24 CET+01:00
UPDATE: The German language institute confirmed on Monday that the German woman killed in the Ivory Coast terror attack was the director at the Goethe Institute in the area.

The headquarters of the Goethe Institute confirmed that the head of its association in Abijan, Henrike Grohs, was among the people killed by heavily-armed men at an Ivory Coast resort on Sunday in an attack claimed by an al-Qaeda affiliate.

Photo: Goethe Institute, Abijan.

Since 2013, 51-year-old Grohs had been in charge of the Goethe Institute in Abijan, the country's economic capital and largest city, roughly 40 kilometres (25 miles) from where the attack took place in Grand-Bassam.

The Goethe Institute of Senegal wrote on Twitter that they wanted to pay tribute to Grohs.

Grohs had previously worked with the institute in South Africa.

Heavily-armed men gunned down at least 16 people at the Ivory Coast resort on Sunday, leaving bodies strewn on the beach as fears grow of a mounting jihadist threat in West Africa.

A witness in the resort town of Grand-Bassam told AFP they heard one of the assailants shouting "Allahu Akbar" - Arabic for "God is greatest".

Fourteen civilians and two special forces troops were killed in the shooting spree targeting three hotels, Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara said.

One German and one French national were among those killed, according to Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko.

SITE Intelligence Group, a US monitor, said al-Qaeda's North African affiliate had claimed responsibility for the attack in the former French colonial capital, a resort popular with Western expatriates.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in a statement said three of its fighters had been killed, while Ouattara said six assailants were dead following what he condemned as a "terrorist" attack.

"The toll is heavy," the Ivorian leader said as he arrived in Grand-Bassam, which lies on the Gulf of Guinea.

The assailants, who were "heavily armed and wearing balaclavas, fired at guests at the L'Etoile du Sud, a large hotel which was full of expats in the current heatwave," a witness told AFP.

Twelve German tourists were ultimately killed after a suicide bombing in Istanbul in January, an attack blamed on the Isis terrorist group.

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