The Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali was under siege Friday after being seized by radical Islamic terrorists. Shouting “Allahu Akbar,” as many as eight to ten jihadis reportedly arrived in vehicles bearing diplomatic plates. They quickly took as many as 170 hostages, including, according to sky news, six American nationals.
Reuters reported in its live news, that Al-Mourabitoun—an al-quaeda-affiliated-group from northern Mali—had claimed credit for the attack on social media. Multiple sources, including Sky News and Reuters, reported both American and French commandos had converged in Bamako to take part in rescue efforts. Some sources said that 80 hostages had been freed after the initial siege, some by the gunmen who tested the hostages group
Some hostages were freed by the attackers after showing they could recite verses from the Koran, while others were brought out by security forces or managed to escape under their own steam.
The hotel guests were from multiple nations. Freed hostages included Indian and American citizens. At least three hostages have been killed in the seige, and an unknown number injured.
Sky News reported a statement from François Hollande, who said his countrymen “should yet again stand firm and show our solidarity with a friendly country, Mali.” The Mali hostage crisis comes in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks which left 130 dead and Western nations on high alert for Islamic terrorism.
Radisson has tweeted that the company had established resources for concerned families to use to try and find out if their families were in danger.