Gunmen attacked the iconic Radisson hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako on Friday. The attackers are believed to have taken hostages, according to a security sources.
Automatic weapons fire could be heard from outside the luxury 190-room hotel, where security forces have set up a security cordon, according to witnesses.
“A hostage-taking or attempted hostage-taking is in progress,” said FRANCE 24 correspondant Serge Daniel, reporting from Bamako. Daniel said that security forces had established a security perimeter around the hotel and that the hotel was “completely sealed off”.
The identity of the attackers and their motives are not yet known.
“It’s all happening on the seventh floor, jihadists are firing in the corridor,” a security source told AFP.
Witnesses told FRANCE 24’s Daniel that the attackers arrived at the hotel in a car with diplomatic license plates.
The US Embassy in Bamako issued a statement on Twitter stating that it was aware of an, “ongoing active shooter operation at the Radisson Hotel”. Another message said, “The U.S. Embassy staff has been asked to shelter in place. All U.S. citizens should shelter in place. “