The militants said Sunday's raid in Grand Bassam, which killed 18 people, was meant as a warning for countries who have allied with France and its military operations in West Africa.
Four men arrived in a Ford saloon car at a beachside bar around noon on Sunday, according to a waiter at the establishment, before launching the attack that killed 18 people.
This is the third time in recent months that the North African-based group al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for an attack on soft targets in West Africa.
A witness told AFP that the assailants were "heavily armed and wearing balaclavas." Some witnesses say they heard cries of "Allahu Akbar" during the attack.
Gunmen reportedly entered a popular beach resort in Grand Bassam on the Ivory Coast on Sunday and opened fire, according to news agencies. The number of casualties is unclear.