first published on November 20, 2015 by Will
Varying reports indicate that anywhere from two to ten gunmen assaulted a Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali’s capital city of Bamako, taking up to 220 hostages, although the numbers all vary by source.
Not surprisingly, witnesses reported that the terrorists were chanting Islamic psychobabble slogans, and other’s indicated that they were speaking English as well.
At least three hostages, two Malians and one French person, are reported to be dead at this point. However, Malian Special forces are currently raiding the hotel, and the death toll is expected to rise. Two Malian soldiers are said to have been wounded.
The gunmen were said to have been releasing hostages if they could recite verses from the Quran. Up to 80 hostages are said to have been released by the gunmen, although earlier reports said that they were freed by Malian Forces.
The gunmen arrived in multiple vehicles with diplomatic plates, carrying Ak-47s.
A French gendarmerie assault unit and a forensic team are en route to Mali, according to CNN. U.S. Special Forces are already on the scene assisting with the clearing operations and hostage security.
The Radisson Blu Hotel was hosting a large delegation of peace talks at the time of the attack. Mali is a former French colony, and a couple-year-old French military operation called Serval had pushed many extremists out of the country. The fact that the gunmen were releasing hostages able to recite Quran verses suggests that this was a continuation of the terror attacks aimed at France and her Western allies.