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
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.”