Man injures 3 in knife attack at Togo's embassy in D.C.

By Paul Duggan
Friday, November 13, 2009

A man from the West African nation of Togo attacked employees of the country's Washington embassy with a knife Thursday, injuring three people, the U.S. Secret Service said.

The assailant, identified by authorities as Kokou Bocco, 31, who has been living in the United States, walked into the embassy in the 2200 block of Massachusetts Avenue NW just after 11:30 a.m. and said he wanted information on how to return to Togo, said Agent Malcolm Wiley, a Secret Service spokesman.

He said Bocco "became agitated" while speaking with embassy workers, then pulled out a knife and attacked them. By the time other employees subdued him, three workers and Bocco had been injured, Wiley said.

He said the workers and Bocco were taken to George Washington University Hospital. None of the wounds is considered life-threatening, officials said.

The Secret Service charged Bocco with one count of aggravated assault; more charges are possible as the investigation progresses, Wiley said.

He said he did not know where Bocco has been living in the United States or how long he has been in the country. The embassy, a narrow, three-story townhouse of beige brick, is a few blocks north of Dupont Circle.

Joseph Sala, a retired U.S. diplomat employed as adviser to Togolese officials in the United States, said the embassy had no immediate comment on the incident. He said Togo's ambassador was not in the building when the attack occurred.

Togo, a nation of 6.5 million people, covers about 22,000 square miles near Africa's Atlantic coast, an area slightly larger than West Virginia.

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