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Gunmen Attack Hotel in Mali; Malian, U.S. Special Forces Free Hostages

By Staff

 

hostages

Hostages being led out of the hotel in Mali.

Special forces stormed the Radisson Blu Hotel hotel in Mali Nov. 20, after gunmen entered the hotel and seized 170 people as hostages.

U.S. and French special forces had been dispatched to the scene, along with Malian security officials.

According to reports, the 10 gunmen are no longer holding hostages, 18 people have died, and two soldiers have been wounded in the attack.

Al-Qaeda, and its offshoot al-Murabitoun, allegedly said they carried out the attack in Bamako, the capital city in Mali.

Some of the hostages were reportedly released if they were able to recite verses from the Koran, BBC news stated.

However, officials have not yet said whether a connection with the terrorist attacks in Paris last week has been established.

Mali has been one of Rochester’s sister cities since 1975, and Rochester residents have provided support to the African city in various ways throughout the years, reports said.

Malian students frequently come to Rochester through an exchange program, and the city has given Mali monetary donations, medical supplies, and other help over the years, according to an article in the Democrat and Chronicle.

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

UN forces took over security in Mali, in July 2013, after several northern towns were recaptured from Islamist militants, the BBC said.

Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is currently en route to the country, after stopping short a trip he had been taking to a regional summit in Chad.