New Delhi: Gunmen attacked a luxury hotel full of foreigners in Mali’s capital Bamako early on Friday morning, taking 170 people hostage. The raid on the Radisson Blu hotel, which lies just west of the city centre near government ministries and diplomatic offices in the former French colony, comes a week after Islamic State (IS) militants killed 129 people in Paris.
Automatic weapons fire could be heard from outside the 190-room hotel, where security forces have set up a security cordon.
“It’s all happening on the seventh floor, jihadists are firing in the corridor,” a security source told AFP.
The shooting follows a nearly 24-hour siege and hostage-taking at another hotel in August in the central Malian town of Sevare.
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MEA says the embassy is in touch with Indians held under Mali siege.
Malian special forces entered the Radisson Blu in the capital Bamako on Friday after Islamist gunmen attacked the luxury hotel and took hostages, a witness and a police source said. “They’ve penetrated inside the hotel. The operations are under way,” the police source said.
Mali special forces are clearing the hotel floor by floor, sporadic gunfire being heard, says security sources, witness.
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Malian special forces entered the Radisson Blu in the capital Bamako on Friday after Islamist gunmen attacked the luxury hotel and took hostages, a witness and a police source said.
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Gunmen moving floor by floor, have arrived on seventh floor of Radisson Hotel in Mali capital, says senior security source.
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At least three hostages killed in Bamako hotel siege: minister.
The US Embassy tweeted that it was “aware of an ongoing active shooter operation at the Radisson Hotel,” and instructed its citizens to stay indoors.
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Six Turkish Airlines staff members are among those in hotel, a Turkish government official said.
“There are six Turkish Airlines personnel in the hotel,” the official told. (Reuters)
According to reuters, a senior member of the hotel’s security detail said two private security guards had been injured in the early stages of the attack.
According to Reuters, security source said that gunmen shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they stormed hotel.
The company that runs the hotel, Rezidor Group, said it understood that there were two gunmen.
“According to our information, two people are holding 140 clients and 30 employees,” it said in a statement quoted by the BBC.
The Chinese state news agency Xinhua said several Chinese tourists were among those trapped inside the building.