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Hostages In Mali


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Thank goodness another terror attack is over ... apparently some people were freed by the attackers after showing they could recite verses from the Koran before special forces stormed the hotel to free the other 170 hostages ... maybe as many as 27 dead ...


What is the answer, or is there not one to solve the problem of murder and terror by islamic exremists ..

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Here y'go, a story and a link


Mali hotel hostage situation over as UN troops report seeing 27 bodies.







Raid led by Malian special forces ends nine-hour siege of Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, though some attacks continuing to resist arrest


A nine-hour hostage situation at a high-end hotel in Mali’s capital is over after special forces stormed the building, officials said, but an unspecified number of attackers remain on the upper floors and are continuing to resist arrest.


Islamist militants with guns and grenades had taken about 170 people hostage at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on Friday morning.


Analysis Bamako attack shows Mali fight goes on, two years after French intervention


Northern Mali is still populated by an alphabet soup of armed groups and recently the jihadi problem has shown signs of creeping south


There are conflicting reports of the death toll, though UN peacekeeping troops who entered the hotel after the siege said a preliminary search had found 27 bodies. One Belgian national was confirmed as being among the dead. Two gunmen were killed, AFP quoted Mali’s military as saying.


Even after the last hostages were freed, Mali’s security ministry said some attackers remained “dug in†on the upper floors.


“The attackers no longer have hostages,†said security ministry spokesman Amadou Sanghou. “They are dug in in the upper floors. They are alone with the Malian special forces who are trying to dislodge them.â€


The attack began when a group of gunmen reportedly used a car with diplomatic numberplates to drive into the compound of the hotel before firing at guards, with witnesses saying they also used grenades. About 170 people – including diplomats, businesspeople and airline crew from France and Turkey – were taken hostage. A military official said the gunmen shouted “Allahu Akbar†as they began the attack. Hotel staff said grenades were used.


Malian special forces, assisted by counterparts from the US and France based in the country, stormed the hotel, and were seen on TV footage in the lobby. A security source told Reuters the troops cleared the building floor by floor.


The US Africa Command said forces stationed in Mali helped to secure the scene, while France’s national gendarme service said about 40 French special police forces, based in Bamako, took part in the assault on the hotel.


After the raid a ministerial adviser told French TV that hostages were safe and out of the hotel. “These people have been taken under the wing of the civil authorities,†the adviser was quoted as saying by AFP.


Al-Mourabitoun, an African jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, claimed responsibility in a message posted on Twitter. The claim could not immediately be verified.


Among the freed hostages was a famous Guinean singer, who told reporters he heard some of the attackers in the room next to him speaking to each other in English.


“I heard them say in English ‘Did you load it?’, ‘Let’s go’,†said Sékouba “Bambino†Diabaté. “I wasn’t able to see them because in these kinds of situations it’s hard.â€


The Pentagon said 22 military and civilian employees at the defence department were accounted for after the attack. Air France said 12 of its crew who were staying in the hotel were safe. It has cancelled its scheduled flights to and from Bamako for Friday.


India’s foreign ministry said 20 Indian nationals were among the hostages, but that they were all known to be alive. Seven Algerians, including diplomats, were trapped in a hotel, according to the country’s foreign ministry.


The Chinese state news agency Xinhua said at least seven Chinese tourists were among those trapped inside the building. It broadcast a short video clip said to be filmed by one of the hostages.


Mali’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, was in Chad for a meeting of regional leaders, but was cutting short his trip, officials said.


Mali has experienced significant activity in recent years from Islamist militant groups, who at one point seized the strategic town of Konna. This was returned to government control with the assistance of France, the the former colonial power, which launched a military offensive in 2013 at Mali’s request.


On Friday, the French president, François Hollande, who is also dealing with the aftermath of the brutal Islamist attacks on Paris a week ago, said everything possible was being done to end the siege. France’s gendarme service said about 50 specially trained police troops were en route from Paris to Bamako.


The hotel is just west of the city centre in a neighbourhood with government ministries and diplomats.


The Radisson attack follows a nearly 24-hour siege and hostage-taking at another hotel in August in the central Malian town of Sevare in which five UN workers were killed, along with four soldiers and four attackers.


Five people, including a French citizen and a Belgian, were also killed in an attack at a restaurant in Bamako in March, in the first such incident in the capital. Both attacks were also claimed by al-Mourabitoun.


Northern Mali was occupied by Islamist fighters, some with links to al-Qaida, for most of 2012. Although they were driven out by the French-led military operation, sporadic violence continues.

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