World

Attack in Mali: Hostage situation ends

20 Nov 2015 | By Shiladitya

An unknown number of gunmen stormed the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako in Mali, Africa, taking 170 people hostage, and killing at least 27.

Malian Special Forces, assisted by US and French Special Forces mounted a counter-attack on the hotel, freeing all the hostages.

2 gunmen have been confirmed dead and Malian security forces are "tracking" the rest of the attackers as of now.

In context: Gunmen attack hotel in Mali's capital, Bamako

Militancy in Mali

Tuareg and Al Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters occupied most of northern Mali including Timbuktu and Kida, for the most part of 2012. Mali requested French help in 2013, and although a French-led military operation ousted the Islamists, sporadic violence continues.

20 Nov 2015Attack in Mali: Hostage situation ends

North African Jihadist group claims responsibility

Attackers North African Jihadist group claims responsibility

The number of attackers involved in the hostage situation remains unknown so far, but there could be as many as 13 gunmen.

The gunmen were reportedly heard shouting "Allahu Akbar!" when they stormed the hotel.

Guinean singer Sékouba Diabate, who was held hostage, heard two of the attackers conversing in English.

Al-Mourabitoun, the North African affiliate of Al-Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Hostages What we know about the hostages

Among the estimated 170 hostages, 30 were hotel staff according to hotel owners Rezidor Hotel Group, while the rest were guests.

The Raddisson Blu Hotel had Indian, American, French, German, Chinese and Russian nationals among others.

According to latest reports, 20 Indians, 12 French, 6 Americans, 7 Algerians, 4 Chinese, 2 Germans, 2 Russians, 1 Ivorian and 1 Guinean are among the rescued hostages.

Analysis Analysis of the Mali attack

The attack on the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamko comes just a day after the leader of Mali-based Islamist militant group Ansar Dine, Iyad Ag Ghaly, called for an attack on France and its interests in Mali.

A Reuters journalist who stayed at the Radisson Blu recently, said it had very lax security consisting of only a few unarmed guards and a flimsy barrier.

21 Nov 2015Mali declares state of emergency

A 10-day state of emergency has been declared by the government in Mali according to Malian state television.

The announcement comes after Special Forces staged a floor-by-floor rescue operation at the Radisson Blu Hotel, ending the 9-hour long siege which left at least 27 people dead.

The attack, coming within a week of the Paris attacks, added to fears over the global Jihadist threat.

Who is Al-Mourabitoun?

Al-Mourabitoun also claimed responsibility for killing 5 people at a restaurant attack in March 2014, 3 people in a suicide bomb attack on UN Peacekeepers in April 2015, and 19 people in a hotel attack in August 2015.