This morning, terrorists stormed a hotel in Mali. The attacks began around 7:00 AM and a local Mali radio station reported that the attack ended around 11:30 AM.A number of gunmen stormed the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamakko, the capital of the West African country of Mali. The gunmen entered the hotel yelling “Allahu Akbar,” and began taking hostages from the hotel’s estimated 170 visitors. This is thought largely to be a response to Mali’s connection to the west, especially with its actions in 2013 when it asked France to help it fight radical Islamists who had occupied a few cities within the country. The hotel’s international crowd made it a prime target, with around 20 Indians, 10 Chinese, 6 crew members of Turkish Airlines, a number of Algerian delegates, and unknown numbers of American and French citizens within at the time of the attack. Malian security forces stormed the building and started freeing the hostages floor by floor. UN peacekeeping forces, US special forces, and French special forces have all supported the efforts, helping storm the building and set up crisis centers outside for the victims. Jihadist group Al-Mourabitoun has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack, though this claim has yet to be verified. While hostages are currently being freed and cared for. Numbers differ slightly, but UN peacekeeping forces have reported recovering 27 bodies at the site so far.
ROBERT COCANOUGHER / Editor in Chief