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At least 21 people are dead after an attack on a Radisson Hotel in Mali.

**Update **

The hostage situation in Mali is reportedly over with at least 21 people having died in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali, CNN reports.

Mali’s security minister has told AFP that the siege, in the Malian capital of Bamako, is over and that bodies are now being recovered from the hotel.

A Belgian government official was among those killed in the attack, according to the parliament’s official Twitter feed. Geoffrey Dieudonne was in Mali to give a training seminar for civil servants, according to an official parliament statement, reports theBBC.

The bodies of three attackers who were killed by special forces during the assault may also be included in the death toll.

African jihadist group Al-Mourabitoun, affiliated with al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack on the luxury hotel packed with foreigners

Earlier Malian special forces entered the hotel to end a siege by gunmen.

***

Earlier we reported, gunmen have taken at least 170 people hostage at the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital Bamako, NBC news are reporting.

“They have locked in about 140 guests and about 30 employees,” a spokesperson for the Carlson Rezidor group, which owns Radisson, told NBC News. “So the hotel is locked down and there is no possibility to go out or come in.”

A security source told Reuters that gunmen attacked the hotel, although NBC News was not able to verify this.

“As per our information the persons who have entered the building and have initiated the hostage-taking have locked the property, so it is not locked by police or other forces,” the spokesperson added.

The London Telegraph is reporting gunmen entered the popular Radisson Blu hotel in the Malian capital with guns and grenades, shooting and screaming “Allahu Akbar”, which means “God is great.”

Satellite image of the hotel Source:google maps

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The chain said it was working to establish the names and nationalities of those taken.

The U.S. Embassy in Mali said it was aware of an “ongoing active-shooter operation at the Radisson Hotel.”

“The U.S. Embassy staff has been asked to shelter in place,” it said. “All U.S. citizens should shelter in place. Private U.S. citizens are encouraged to contact their family. Monitor local media for updates. U.S. citizens should adhere to the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.”

In August, the Embassy issued a security message informing U.S. citizens “of a heightened security risk to westerners in southern Mali, including the area outside Bamako city.”

There are reports three people have been killed.

A member of staff who have his name as Tamba Diarra told Sky News over the phone the attackers used grenades in the assault.

Sky News reports automatic weapons fire can be heard from outside the 190-room hotel, where security forces have set up a security cordon.

The Mirror UK is reporting the hotel is popular with visiting Western officials and is a frequent base for Air France staff. Many of the hostages are reportedly French and Belgian.

However there is no information to confirm that Air France staff are in the hotel. The hotel is reportedly also used by other airlines, including Turkish airlines.

The 190 room hotel was hosting a major mining conference that included speakers such as the Malian Prime Minister and the directors of some major mining houses operating in Africa.

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