Gunmen Attack Radisson Blu Hotel In Mali, At Least 170 People Taken Hostage
The U.S. Embassy in Mali asked citizens to shelter in place amid reports of an “ongoing active shooter operation” at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the capital, Bamako, raising fears of a terror attack.
Reports of gunfire surfaced Friday morning on social media, though Lt. Col. Diarran Kone, an adviser with Mali’s defense ministry, says it is not yet clear what has happened.
Reuters reported that the gunmen were holding hostages and police were sealing off the area.
At least 170 people are reported to have been taken hostage
“They have locked in about 140 guests and about 30 employees,” a spokesperson for the Carlson Rezidor group, which owns Radisson, told NBC News. “So the hotel is locked down and there is no possibility to go out or come in.”
A security source told Reuters that 10 gunmen attacked the hotel, located to the west of the city center although NBC News was not able to verify this. Witnesses in the area said police had surrounded the hotel and were blocking roads leading into the neighborhood.
“As per our information the persons who have entered the building and have initiated the hostage-taking have locked the property, so it is not locked by police or other forces,” the spokesperson added.