3 Reported Killed of 170 People Held Hostage at Radisson Blu Hotel, Bamako in Mali
P osted at the official Internet web site of the Radisson Blu Hotel, Bamako in Mali is this disturbing message pertaining to the taking of 170 people hostage — at least three of whom are reportedly killed — by what are being described as two gunmen from an radical extremist militant group known as Ansar al-Din, which seeks to implement Islamic Sharia in Mali:
HOSTAGE-TAKING AT RADISSON BLU HOTEL, BAMAKO / MALI
THE REZIDOR HOTEL GROUP, OPERATOR OF THE RADISSON BLU HOTEL BAMAKO / MALI, IS AWARE OF THE HOSTAGE-TAKING THAT IS ONGOING AT THE PROPERTY TODAY, 20TH NOVEMBER 2015. AS PER OUR INFORMATION, TWO PERSONS HAVE LOCKED IN 140 GUESTS AND 30 EMPLOYEES. OUR SAFETY & SECURITY TEAMS AND OUR CORPORATE TEAM ARE IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN ORDER TO OFFER ANY SUPPORT POSSIBLE TO RE-INSTATE SAFETY AND SECURITY AT THE HOTEL. AT THIS POINT, WE DO NOT HAVE FURTHER INFORMATION AND CONTINUE TO CLOSELY MONITOR THE SITUATION.
According to this article of live reporting by Clare Spencer and Damian Zane of BBC News, the latest reports indicate that as many as 80 hostages had been released from the hotel after French troops and Malian special forces had stormed it; and the United Nations mission in Mali is sending “security reinforcements” to the scene. Three of those people who escaped are six of the employees of Turkish Airlines who were held hostage at the hotel.
The hostages consist of primarily citizens of France, Turkey, China and India.
Twelve members of a flight crew of Air France were amongst the hostages; but all have safely escaped, according to this Twitter alert:
— Air France Newsroom (@AFnewsroom) November 20, 2015
Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta — the current president of Mali — is in the neighboring country of Chad and will shorten his visit to return to Mali.
If your plans include traveling to or from Bamako — which is the capital city of the West African country of Mali — keep yourself updated pertaining to this situation and please stay safe.
Source: Radisson Blu Hotel, Bamako.