Mali rebel militia assaults hotel and take tourists hostage

Mali rebel militia assaults hotel and take tourists hostage -

heavily armed man took a clean sweep the shots today a luxury hotel in the capital of Mali where they kept more than 170 people, including many foreigners, hostage, three of whom were killed by the attackers, officials and security sources.

Shooting with automatic rifles could be heard from outside the hotel 10 rooms located in the center of the city, which was surrounded by police forces and local military, soldiers of the peacekeeping mission of the UN (Minusma) and troops of the French contingent fighting the jihadists in the country.

in a statement, the Rezidor group, which operates attacked Radisson Blu Bamako, said two people held hostage about 140 guests and 30 employees.

the Ministry of Security of the country said at least three hostages were killed by the attackers, while military sources said twenty people were released, although it was not clear why, said the chain CNN .

the news agency EFE said he found that among those released were foreigners.

security sources said the attackers are "jihadists" who entered the hotel complex in a car with diplomatic patent, adding that barricaded themselves on the seventh floor of the building.

in France , sources from the Presidency quoted by local media said that among the hostages were French citizens.

the French Foreign Ministry asked the French who are in Bamako who do not leave their homes and ordered the closure of both the school and the French Lyceum of the capital of Mali.

from Turkey , state TV reported that six employees of the airline Turkish Airlines were also held by the attackers.

in China , the state news agency Xinhua reported that seven Chinese were also taken hostage.

Among those staying at the hotel members of a delegation were Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and participants in a scheduled meeting tomorrow in the Malian capital on new technologies, said in Bamako sources safety and workers in the establishment.

the office of Malian Prime Minister informed that launched a crisis to take security measures.

president country, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, decided to shorten his trip to Chad where he participates in the meeting of the G5 Sahel, and returned today to Mali, his office said.
Upon entering the grounds of the hotel, the attackers began firing at the guards, causing two serious injuries and two other minor injuries, while the remainder of guards fled the area, security sources said cited by EFE .

the Radisson Blu is considered the safest hotel in the city, and is located in an upscale area where there are many hotels, banks, bars and restaurants as well as the embassies of the United States, Spain and Tunisia.

last August, four bombers took 24 hours another hotel packed with tourists in the central city of Severe Malian. Five UN employees, four soldiers and four attackers were killed in the incident.

Five people, including a French citizen and one Belgian, were also killed in an attack on a restaurant in Bamako in March past, first of its kind in the capital of west Africa.

Islamist groups have continued their attacks in Mali despite a peace agreement reached in June in the north of the country between former rebels Tuareg and rival pro-government armed groups.

northern Mali was conquered in March 2012 by jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda who were defeated and expelled in January 2013 by a military operation led by France, former colonial the country.

Despite the peace agreement, Mali extensive territories remain outside the control of the authorities and foreign forces in the country.

Source: Telam

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