Heavily armed Islamic extremists seized dozens of hostages Friday at a Radisson hotel, but Malian troops, backed by U.S. and French special forces, swarmed in to retake the building and free many of the terrified captives. At least 20 people, including one American, were killed along with two gunmen during the more than seven-hour siege, a Malian military commander said.
An extremist group led by former al-Qaida commander Moktar Belmoktar claimed responsibility for the attack in the former French colony, and many in France saw it as a new assault on their country’s interests a week after the Paris attacks.
CCTV America’s Sean Callebs reports.
At least 20 dead after gunmen attack Mali hotelHeavily armed Islamic extremists seized dozens of hostages Friday at a Radisson hotel, but Malian troops, backed by U.S. and French special forces, swarmed in to retake the building and free many of the terrified captives. At least 20 people, including one American, were killed along with two gunmen during the more than seven-hour siege, a Malian military commander said.
While French President Francois Hollande did not link the violence at the Radisson Blu hotel with last week’s bloodshed in Paris, he declared that France would stand by the West African country.
“Once again, terrorists want to make their barbaric presence felt everywhere, where they can kill, where they can massacre. So we should once again show our solidarity with our ally, Mali,” he said.
Gunfire continued throughout the day at the hotel, which is popular with airline crews and other foreigners doing business in the capital of Bamako, but the shooting had stopped after dark.
Officials would not confirm that the entire complex had been secured by nightfall, although the only activity was firefighters carrying bodies to waiting ambulances.
Malian state television said late Friday night that the government had announced a 10-day state of emergency beginning at midnight as well as a three-day period of national mourning beginning Monday.
(All times local, GMT, -5 ET)
Mali state television says the government has declared a 10-day state of emergency beginning at midnight.
The announcement late Friday night attributed to the government also declared three-day period of national mourning beginning Monday for the dead in the attack at the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital.
The U.S. State Department says one American was among at least 19 people killed an attack Friday at a Radisson hotel in Bamako, Mail.
The department is declining to immediately identify the American victim out of respect for the family.
Secretary of State John Kerry is offering “deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and injured” in the assault.
Kerry says the U.S. Embassy in Bamako stands ready “to provide support to the Malian government in the investigation” of the incident.
He says, “These terrorist attacks will only deepen our shared resolve to fight terrorism.”
A top army official says 22 people including the attackers were killed in the siege of a hotel in the Mali capital of Bamako.
Army Cmdr. Modibo Nama Traore said late Friday night that there appeared to have been two attackers, both of whom were killed.
He said a Malian gendarme was among the dead. He added that five people were injured including two Malian police, and that 126 people were safely evacuated.
At least two Canadians are safe after Islamic extremists stormed the Radisson Blu hotel inMali’s capital.
A clerk for the House of Commons and an employee of Quebec’s national assembly were both in the hotel at the time of the attacks.
Patrice Martin, acting deputy principal clerk, in Mali on a diplomatic support mission was unharmed in the attack according to Commons spokeswoman Heather Bradley.
Earlier, a spokesperson for Quebec’s national assembly said Maxime Carrier-Legare was also safe.
GMT 9:41 pm, 4:41 ET
As evening fell, officials said no more hostages were being held.
GMT 9:37 pm, 4:37 ET
The Exact death toll remains unclear. The French defense minister says 18 people were killed at the hotel, along with one Malian soldier killed in the fighting,
GMT 9:36 pm, 4:37 ET
US officials say no Americans are known to have been killed at the hotel.
GMT 9：00 pm, 4:00 ET
3 Chinese nationals confirmed dead according to the Chinese Embassy in Mali.
GMT 5:51 pm, 12:51 ET
4 trapped Chinese in # rescued. The Chinese ambassador visited them at a stadium where they were taken.(Photo Courtesy: Caixin Globus)
GMT 4:08 pm EST 11:09
A Malian military source has said two gunmen were killed in the siege, CCTV reporter said.
GMT 4：05 pm EST 11:05
A Malian government minister, quoted by AFP, has said there are no more hostages inside the hotel.
“They currently have no more hostages in their hands and forces are in the process of tracking them down,” security minister Salif Traore said.
GMT 3：40 pm EST 10:40
Eighteen bodies have been recovered from the Mali hotel siege, according to the AFP news agency – however, it is unclear whether some of the attackers are among the dead.
GMT 3:36 pm EST 10:36
AFP: Mali hotel gunmen ‘holding no more hostages’: security minister
Malian troops take position outside the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 20, 2015. Gunmen went on a shooting rampage at the luxury hotel in Mali’s capital Bamako, seizing 170 guests and staff in an ongoing hostage-taking that has left at least three people dead. AFP PHOTO / HABIBOU KOUYATE / AFP / HABIBOU KOUYATE
GMT 3：23 pm EST 10：23
Brett McGurk, an envoy to U.S. President Obama who is involved in the global coalition to beat Islamic State has said it is too soon to speculate whether the hostage situation is related to the Paris attacks.
GMT 3:00 pm, EST 10 am
The al-Qaida affiliated group which has claimed responsibility for the hotel siege on Twitter is known as al Mourabitoun.
The group is based in northern Mali, and their claims are yet to be verified.
France’s national gendarme service says “about 40” French special police forces are taking part in the assault on the Radisson Blu hotel.
A spokesman for the service who was not authorized to be publicly named said the forces are permanently based in Bamako, primarily to secure the French Embassy.
He said they are currently “playing a supporting role” alongside local security forces.
—Nicolas Vaux-Montagny in Paris
A spokesman for the U.S. Africa Command says U.S. military forces stationed in Mali are helping to secure the scene of the hotel attack in Mali.
Col. Mark R. Cheadle says American military personnel “have helped move civilians to secure locations, as Malian forces work to clear the hotel of hostile gunmen.”
U.S. State Dept. spokesman John Kirby says Americans “might be present at the hotel,” and that the U.S. Embassy in Bamako is working to verify this.
The Brussels-based Rezidor Hotel group that operates the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako when the assault began says 125 guests and 13 employees are still in the hotel.
Separately, Germany’s foreign minister says that two Germans who were taken hostage in the hotel have been set free.
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters on Friday during a visit to Zambia that is unclear whether any other Germans were in the hotel, the dpa news agency reported.
Malian state TV says 80 people who were in the hotel in Bamako when the assault began have now been freed. The special forces were continuing their operation to end the standoff.
Earlier, the Brussels-based Rezidor Hotel group that operates the Bamako hotel said the assailants had “locked in” 140 guests and 30 employees in the attack on Friday.
Malian troops reacted quickly. As people ran for their lives near the hotel along a dirt road, the soldiers in full combat gear pointed the way to safety. Within hours, local TV images showed heavily armed troops in what appeared to be a lobby area.
President Barack Obama says he’s monitoring the situation playing out in Mali.
Obama made the brief comment about hotel attack after a meeting in Kuala Lumpur with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. He didn’t offer any additional details.
The White House says Obama was briefed about the attack by his national security adviser, Susan Rice. White House officials say Obama has asked to be kept updated about new developments.
Malian army commander, Modibo Nama Traore, says Malian special forces have entered the hotel and are freeing hostages “floor by floor.”
He says at least 30 hostages have been freed already and that Malian security forces are trying to make contact with the assailants.
Traore says at least one guest earlier reported that the attackers instructed him to recite verses from the Quran before he was allowed to leave the hotel.
Air France says 12 members of one of its plane crew who are staying at the attacked hotel in Bamako are all safe.
Air France spokeswoman Ulli Gendrot told The Associated Press that the “the crew is in a safe place.” She said the 12 included two pilots.
French President Francois Hollande says France is ready to help Mali with all means necessary in the wake of the hotel attack in the capital, Bamako.
Hollande asks all French citizens in Mali to make contact with the French Embassy there “in order that everything is made to offer them protection.”
In Belgium, Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said there were four Belgians registered at the attacked hotel but it’s unclear if they were taken hostage by the gunmen or not.
Reynders also said there are “15 hostages who have been freed after an intervention” but didn’t provide more details.
Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has cut short its tip to Chad where he was attending a meeting of G5 Sahel.
The Mali presidency said on Twitter that Keita will be back to Bamako “in the next hours.”
Meanwhile, France’s national gendarme service says about 50 elite police troops are en route from Paris to Bamako.
A spokesman for the service who was not authorized to be publicly named said they are heading Friday from two different units of special police forces trained for emergency situations.
—Nicolas Vaux-Montagny in Paris
Air France has cancelled its Paris-Bamako flight after gunmen attacked a hotel in the Malicapital.
Air France spokesman Ulli Gendrot said the “3852 flight has been canceled.” It was due later Friday.
The attackers seized about 170 hostages on Friday morning at the Radisson Blu Hotel.
A Malian military official has said at least three people are confirmed dead in the attack and that more than 100 hostages are believed to be held.
Information compiled from AFP, CCTV, AP, Sky NEWS, Reuters.
Teng Jianqun discusses how China is involved in the war on ISIL
CCTV America’s Asieh Namdar interviewed Teng Jianqun, director for the Center of Arms Control, China Institute of International Studies in Beijing about China’s fight against the Islamic State.