Mali Declares Ten-Day State of Emergency in Aftermath of Hostage Siege

World | November 21, 2015, Saturday // 12:51|  views

Police cordon off outside the Radisson Hotel in the aftermath of the hostage taking situation at the hotel, in Bamako, Mali, 21 November 2015. Photo: EPA

Mali declared a ten-day state of emergency following the hostage siege, which took place at a hotel in the capital Bamako on Friday.

Suspected Islamist militants had seized 170 people hostage in the Radisson Blu hotel in the centre of the capital before the building was stormed by security forces.

President of Mali Boubacar Keita declared three days of mourning and assured that the country would "do everything to eradicate terrorism".

According to the latest reports, at least nineteen people were killed in the attack and subsequent raid by security forces,with two of the attackers believed to be among the victims.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its affiliate, al-Murabitoun, claimed responsibility for the attack, the BBC informs.

More than 130 guests of the hotel were rescued when Malian and French special forces and off-duty US servicemen stormed the hotel.

Earlier reports suggested that at least 27 people were killed. Among the victims were citizens of Belgium, China, Russia and the US.

The exact number of attackers remains unknown, with the figures ranging between two and thirteen. The gunmen reportedly entered the hotel shouting "God is great" in Arabic.

The security forces are conducting a manhunt for three suspects connected to the attack.

So far, no connection has been established between the hotel siege in Mali and last week's attacks in Paris.

In August, suspected Islamist militants killed thirteen people, including five UN workers in a hostage siege at a hotel in the town of Sevare in central Mali.

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Tags: Mali, Bamako, hotel, siege, hostage, Paris, attack, al-Qaeda, al-Murabitoun, Boubacar Keita, terrorism


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