According to CNN, on Friday, Nov. 20, there was a terrorist attack in Bamako, Mali, at the Radisson Blu Hotel. One United States citizen has been pronounced dead and West African officials have reported that 21 people were killed. A senior official expressed deepest condolences to those who knew the deceased. Out of respect for family members, he offered no further information.
West African officials stated the Radisson Blu hotel had been hosting diplomats and other people from Mali’s capital who were engaged in peace negotiations for Mali when the assailants attacked. After killing 21 people, the perpetrators of this crime held dozens of people hostage for hours.
A counterattack was launched by Malian and U.N. forces who were able to get the hostages out of the building safely. Army Colonel Mamadou Coulibaly reported that by late afternoon the hostages were all in a safe area outside the hotel.
Ned Price, U.S. National Security Council spokesman, gave a written statement announcing the attack had ended. At least six people were injured during the shootings and were taken to local hospitals, according to Mali Health Minister Marie Madeleine Togo.
Al Mourabitoun is an Islamist militant faction with ties to al Qaeda. The Al Akhabar news agency announced that the group took joint responsibility for the shootings with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). A video aired by station ORTM showed the hostages being led out of the hotel.
At 7 a.m. the assault began. Two or three people, armed with AK-47s, came from a vehicle which bore diplomatic plates. They opened fire as they entered the hotel.
Al Qaeda has not yet confirmed its involvement with the Mali shootings. There is no further information at this time. Guardian Liberty Voice will post updates as soon as they are announced.
By Jeanette Smith
Edited by Jeanette Smith
CNN: Mali hotel attack: Islamic group says it shares responsibility
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