Friday, November 20, 2015

Mali attack: Special forces storm hotel to free hostages

So here we go again....Muslim terrorists took 170 hostages at a Radisson Hotel complex in Mali and a Mali Special Forces rescue operation is underway.

I gotta give the Mali government some credit in that they did not hesitate one bit in the rescue attempt - they KNEW this would be a blood bath either way.

Does this mean that every liberal in America is going to changes their colors of their Facebook avatar to the colors of the Mali flag today?

The story comes from the BBC.

Mali attack: Special forces storm hotel to free hostages

Malian special forces have entered the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali's capital, Bamako, to end a siege by gunmen who had been holding 170 people hostage.

The gunmen stormed the US-owned hotel, which is popular with foreign businesses and airline crews, shooting and shouting "God is great!" in Arabic.

Malian state TV is reporting that 80 people have now been freed.

At least three people are reported to have been killed in the siege that started around 07:00 GMT.

Air France says 12 of its crew have been successfully freed in the rescue operation.

Six staff from Turkish Airlines were at the hotel when it was attacked.

The Indian government says 20 of its nationals were also there and the Chinese news service CCTV reports that 10 Chinese citizens are among the guests.

Earlier, a security source told Reuters that some hostages who were able to recite verses of the Koran were being freed.

In August, suspected Islamist gunmen killed 13 people, including five UN workers, during a hostage siege at a hotel in the central Malian town of Sevare.

France, the former colonial power in Mali, intervened in the country in January 2013 when al-Qaeda-linked militants threatened to march on Bamako after taking control of the north of the country.

I spoke to a gardener at the hotel who was sweeping the yard when the gunmen arrived.

"They were in car with a diplomatic licence plate. They were masked. At the gate of the hotel, the guard stopped them and they start firing. We fled," he said.

Another eyewitness said that it was difficult to say how many attackers there were, he said it could have between five and 13.

"They injured three security guards who were at the gate of the hotel," he said.

Popular Guinean singer Sekouba Bambino was among some guests who has managed to get out of the hotel. It is not clear how he escaped.

He said: "I woke up with the sounds of gunshots and for me it sounded like small bandits. After 20 or 30 minutes, I realised these are not just petty criminals."

Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has cut short a trip to a regional summit in Chad.

Malian soldiers, police and special forces are on the scene along with UN peacekeeping troops and French soldiers, the AFP news agency reports.

The US embassy in Bamako tweeted that all US citizens were asked "to shelter in place" and were "encouraged to contact their families".

Some reports say about 10 gunmen in total are involved in the attack.

The US Rezidor Hotel Group, which owns the Radisson Blu, said in a statement earlier that "two persons have locked in 140 guests and 30 employees".

The UN force in Mali took over responsibility for security in the country from French and African troops in July 2013, after the main towns in the north had been recaptured from the Islamist militants.

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