Gunmen went on a shooting rampage at the luxury Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital Bamako today, seizing 170 guests and staff in an ongoing hostage-taking, the hotel chain said.At least nine people are thought to have died after armed jihadists stormed in the hotel.
Automatic weapons fire could be heard from outside the 190-room hotel in the city-centre, where security forces have set up a security cordon, an AFP journalist said.
Security sources said the gunmen were “jihadists” who had entered the hotel compound in a car that had diplomatic plates.
A vehicle was used to smash through a security barrier at 7am this morning, according to reports.The hotel is said to be the most secure in the country.Two security staff were injured in the initial exchanges of gunfire, it has been reported.French newspaper Le Monde is reporting that the hotel is regularly used by Air France staff.
Reports are claiming that staff are staying on the seventh floor, where gunfire was reported.Islamist groups have continued to wage attacks in Mali despite a June peace deal between former Tuareg rebels in the north of the country and rival pro-government armed groups.