Almost two dozen people were killed Sunday in the Ivory Coast by militants linked to al-Qaeda in what is seen by some experts as an attempt to scare off western investment in the region.
Gunmen opened fire at the popular beach resort town of Grand Bassam, targeting beachgoers from three separate hotels. It is the third such attack in the region in the past year. There have been similar attacks in both Mali and Burkina Faso.
"The message is to not only disrupt the lives of local people but also remind tourists that their lives are also disrupted," said Alan Mendoza, founder and executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, a UK think tank, on the phone to CNBC.