Tags: mali | hotel | attack | dead | hotel | islamist | militant

Mali Hotel Attack Reportedly Over; Casualty Count Unclear

Image: Mali Hotel Attack Reportedly Over; Casualty Count Unclear
Malian security forces evacuate a man from an area surrounding the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 20, 2015. (Habibou Kouyate/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 20 Nov 2015 12:23 PM

A Mali hotel attack in Bamako Friday left at least 18 people dead in an attack reportedly carried out by an Islamist militant group allied with al-Qaida.

According to media reports, the hostage crisis appears to be over as of noon EST Friday, a Malian military source told Agence France-Presse.

Gunman with Al Mourabitoun, an African jihadist group affiliated with al-Qaida, reportedly stormed the Radisson Blu hotel Friday, taking 170 people hostage, according to Reuters.

The number of casualties is not clear yet, with reports ranging from 18 to 27 dead. It's also not clear whether the victims were hostages or suspects.

"The hostage-taking is over. We are in the process of securing the hotel," the military source told AFP.

Al Mourabitoun has carried out other recent attacks, as well. According to The Guardian, the group claimed responsibility for five people killed in March in a Bamako restaurant attack along with 13 killed in August at a hotel in Sévaré in central Mali.

The attack began around 7 a.m. local time when two or three suspects with AK-47 rifles entered the hotel after getting out of a vehicle with diplomatic plates, Olivier Saldago, a spokesman for the United Nations mission in Mali, told CNN. The hotel was reportedly hosting a diplomatic delegation there to talk about peace in the former French colony.

The 190-room Radisson Blu Hotel is located in the middle of Bamako and is 15 minutes from the Bamako-Senou International Airport, according to CNN.

There is no established link between the Mali siege and last week's terrorist attacks in Paris, according to the BBC News.

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A Mali hotel attack in Bamako Friday left at least 18 people dead in an attack reportedly carried out by an Islamist militant group allied with al-Qaida.
mali, hotel, attack, dead, hotel, islamist, militant
271
2015-23-20
Friday, 20 Nov 2015 12:23 PM
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