Gunmen attack luxury hotel in Mali capital, take hostages

Gunmen have launched an attack on the Radisson Blu Hotel in the centre of Mali’s capital, Bamako, witnesses say, the BBC reports.

“Apparently it’s an attempt to take hostages. The police are there and are sealing off the area,” a security source told Reuters news agency.

Automatic weapon fire could be heard from outside the 190-room hotel, AFP reports.

“It’s all happening on the seventh floor, jihadists are firing in the corridor,” a security source told AFP.

Witnesses say the police have surrounded the hotel and are blocking roads leading into the neighbourhood.

The Rezidor Hotel Group, which owns the Radisson Blu, said it was aware of “the hostage-taking that is ongoing at the property today”.

“As per our information two persons have locked in 140 guests and 30 employees,” AFP quotes its statement as saying.

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