Developing: Witness: “It’s all happening on the seventh floor, jihadists are firing in the corridor.”
Developing: 3 Turkish Airlines staff have escaped from the Radisson hotel
170 people have been taken hostage by two to ten Islamist gunmen who have attacked the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital Bamako. It has been confirmed that three people have been killed.UN officials were holding a function at the hotel when the attack started. Local reports state that the Jihadist gunmen were moving floor by floor.
France is providing logistics and intelligence support, and the Chinese embassy has sent soldiers to assist the Radisson Blu Hotel Situation.
20 Indians are amongst the hostages including French, Turkish and 10 Chinese.
The two gunmen entered the hotel shouting Islamic slogans such as “Allah Akbar”. The gunmen arrived at 7 am and forced their way into the hotel. Chinese media is reporting that several Chinese citizens are trapped in the hotel, and Turkish Airlines have six staff members inside the hotel.
The French news agency AFP reported two women were released while Reuters said the gunmen released hostages who were able to recite verses from the Quran.
Le Pdt #IBK qui se trouve à N’Djaména au Tchad pour le sommet du G5 Sahel écourte son séjour pour regagner Bamako dans les prochaines heures
— Presidence Mali (@PresidenceMali) November 20, 2015
Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta tweeted that he is returning to Bamako to deal with the hostage situation after attending a conference in Chad
A witness in Mali’s capital city, Bamako, suggests the attackers had diplomatic plates on their car.
“They have come this way while I was sweeping in the yard,” said the hotel gardener.
“They were in the car with a diplomatic license plate. They were masked. At the gate of the hotel, the guard stopped them, and they started firing and we fled.”
But another witness report, suggests that a vehicle forced its way through the security barrier at the hotel:
“I don’t know how many [attackers there were]. They were between five and 13. They injured three security guards who were at the gate of the hotel.
“These security guards are from a security firm; they are not soldiers.”
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) November 20, 2015
— TRACterrorism.org (@TRACterrorism) November 20, 2015