MALI TERROR ATTACK: hostages rescued, 21 killed

The Malian military rescuing  one of the hostages. Photo Credit/AFP/Habibou Kouyate

The Malian military rescuing one of the hostages. Photo Credit/AFP/Habibou Kouyate

Ten dead bodies have been discovered, and another 11 people are believed to have died at Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, the Capital of the Northwest African nation of Mali following Friday’s dramatic terrorist attack at the hotel, officials say.

According Malian government authorities, the country’s special forces broke into the hotel, fought and eventually rescued about more than 150 hostages. The presidency has thanked the country’s commandoes and other foreign forces who assisted in the rescue operation.

“The hostage-taking is over. We are in the process of securing the hotel,” an anonymous source told French news agency AFP adding the ten victims of the attack were being removed from the hotel.

Eye-witnesses and multiple reports say a group of gunmen stormed the luxury hotel frequented mostly by westerners killed three people on the spot and took about 170 people hostage including 30 hotel employees.

The hotel was also hosting UN-facilitated peace talks between the government of Mali and rival factions.

Media reports indicate the gunmen gained access to the hotel using vehicles with diplomatic number plates, they passed through multiple security checkpoints.

After a lengthy fight between Malian special forces assisted by French and American commandos, nearly all the hostages were freed, the Malian military says two gunmen are among the dead.

The United Nations has condemned the attack expressed support to the hostages, and victims families.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its offshoot al-Murabitoun have claimed responsibility for the attack said they carried out the attack, a Jihadist news portal in North Africa reported.

This attack, comes one day after French President Francois Hollande thanked his country’s military for the tremendous job it has done combatting and defeating Islamist militants from the former French colony. And it also comes a week after the catastrophic terrorist attack that left over 130 people dead and more than 350 injured.

French forces at the invitation of the Malian government, intervened in the Northwestern African nation and help drive out the Islamist militants who had seized the town of Konna.