Gunmen Kill 3, Take 170 Hostages at Luxury Radisson Hotel in Bamako, Mali

At least nine people have been reportedly killed as armed gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Bamako, Mali on Friday morning. Reports say 170 people are being held hostage at the Radisson Blu hotel in the country’s capital.

About 10 armed offenders are believed to have assaulted guests of the luxury hotel Radisson Blu in Bamako — the capital of Mali. Two to three attackers with AK-47s arrived at the hotel in a vehicle or in vehicles with diplomatic plates about 7 a.m. Local Time, according to Olivier Saldago, a spokesman for the United Nations mission in Mali. Inside the hotel, gunmen began shooting at people and throwing grenades, where two Malian nationals and a French national are reported to have been killed.

Gunmen were reported to be freeing hostages who could recite verses from Qur’an.

Malian special forces are reported to have entered the hotel.

The Radisson Blu Hotel is about 2,000 feet away from the Embassy of the United States in Mali.

Mali in West Africa is a former French colony under French control from about 1905 until June 20, 1960 when the Mali Federation gained independence from France. The short-lived Mali Federation then split the French colonies of Senegal and the Sudanese Republic (or French Sudan, not to be confused with Sudan which is in east Africa near the Red Sea).