Gunmen hold 170 hostage in Mali hotel, three killed

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At least three people were killed on Friday as gunmen took 170 people, including 20 Indians, hostage inside a five-star hotel in Mali’s capital city Bamako.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup gave this information through a tweet.

He tweeted: “#MaliAttack: Acc’g to current info there are 20 Indians staying in the hotel. Our Amb is continuously in touch with them & monitor’g sitn.”

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The Radisson Blu Hotel chain said two armed men locked in 140 guests and 30 employees, CNN reported.

The victims comprised two Malian citizens and a French national, authorities said.

Two to three attackers with AK-47s arrived at the hotel in a vehicle or vehicles with diplomatic plates around 7.00 a.m. (local time), said Olivier Saldago, a spokesman for the UN Mission in Mali.

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The gunmen then entered the hotel and began shooting at people.

The hotel was host to a large delegation for the peace process, Saldago added.

Malian soldiers along with UN troops have surrounded the hotel.

They freed a few hostages, including three UN staff members, according to ORTM, the state television.

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No group immediately has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has cut short his trip to Chad for a summit. He is expected to arrive in Bamako later in the day.

The Radisson Blu Hotel is about 15 minutes away from the Bamako Senou International Airport.

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