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Mali attack: All hostages released, says Salif Traore, Malian Internal Security Minister

20/11/2015 18:31

Malian Internal Security Minister, Salif Traore has said that all the hostages held by Islamists at a Malian hotel have been released.


Gunmen suspected to be Islamist terrorists posing as jihadists had earlier in the day taken about 170 people hostage after they attacked Radisson Blu Hotel, a five-star hotel in Bamako, capital of Mali.


At least three people had been killed in the initial attack, some hostages escaped under their own steam while others were freed after showing they could recite verses from the Koran, Traore said.


The raid on the hotel, which lies just west of the city centre near government ministries and diplomatic offices, came a week after Islamic State militants killed 129 people in Paris.


This has raised fears that French nationals were being specifically targeted.


Twelve members of Air France flight crew were in the building but all were extracted safely, the French national carrier said.


German Foreign Minister, Frank Steinmeier, said on Friday that two Germans had been released after suspected Islamists attacked Radisson Blu hotel in Mali and took 170 people hostage.


It is not immediately known if there were other Germans in the hotel, Steinmeier added.


The attackers, a group of men, had driven to the hotel in a car with diplomatic plates and took 170 people hostage.


So far, more than 80 of the 170 hostages have been freed in an attack that involved different nationalities.


Islamist violence usually affects Mali’s north, which has been volatile since separatist rebels and later, al-Qaeda-affiliated militants took control of the region after a 2012 military coup.


French and African military operations dispersed the militants and restored government control over the area.


Clashes between rebels and the army have persisted in some places.


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