Ten militants with automatic weapons shouting Islamist slogans have attacked Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali’s capital Bamako and have taken 170 people hostage on Nov 20, 2015.
The gunmen stormed the 190-room Radisson Hotel at around 7:00 a.m. local time in a vehicle that had diplomatic stickers, according to eye witnesses.
Among the hostages are 140 guests and 30 staff members of the Hotel.
20 of the hostages were said to be Indians. All of them have been released and are safe, according to the Indian Embassy in Mali.
At least three hostages are dead, and 80 of them have been evacuated. According to Mali Police, the gunmen are releasing hostages who can recite verses from the Koran.
Two Malian citizens and a French national have died in the attack so far.
Among the foreigners who are trapped include Indians, Turkish Airlines staff, Chinese and French tourists.
The gunmen are moving one floor to another inside the Radisson Hotel shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’.
According to sources, the militants have now entered the seventh floor. The hostages freed from the hotel said the militants were speaking in English.
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Air France said, 12 of its crew members trapped inside the hotel have now been freed and are now safe.
Even though it is still not known to which group the militants belong, Al Jazeera reported the group “Ansar al-Din” was responsible for the attack, but there is no official confirmation on this.
Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita immediately returned from his trip where he was attending a regional summit in Chad after the news.
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