A group of 10 men armed with guns stormed a hotel in the West African nation of Mali. 138 hostages were seized and three people have died so far in the attack.
SECURITY MESSSAGE (1/4) The Embassy is aware of an ongoing active shooter operation at the Radisson Hotel.
— U.S. Embassy Bamako (@USEmbassyMali) November 20, 2015
According to reports a portion of the hostages have been released:
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) November 20, 2015
A French broadcaster has video of some of the hostages being freed:
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) November 20, 2015
The New York Times reports that an “operation to rescue the remaining hostages was underway amid indications that the hostage takers had been releasing Muslims and continuing to hold non-Muslims.”
The country is a former French colony and the French military retains a significant presence:
Following a military coup in 2012, Islamic extremists took control of northern Mali, prompting a French-led military intervention in early 2013 that forced the extremists from northern towns and cities, though the north remains insecure and militant attacks have extended farther south this year.
There are a number of French nationals are among the hostages.