19 Killed in Attack on Mali's Radisson Blu Hotel
PHOTO: This undated photo shows the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako. (Courtesy of Radisson Blu)
UPDATE: 10:40 a.m. EST, Nov. 21, 2015
Nineteen people have been confirmed dead in Friday's attack, United Nations spokesman Olivier Salgado told CNN. Two of the attackers were also killed in the siege, however authorities remain on the hunt for additional suspects.
UPDATE: 3:15 p.m. EST, Nov. 20, 2015
United Nations spokesman Olivier Salgado has confirmed to CNN that at least 21 people were killed in Friday's attack. At least six others were injured and have since been hospitalized.
UPDATE: 12:30 p.m. EST, Nov. 20, 2015
At least 10 people have been confirmed dead in Friday's attack on a five-star hotel in Bamako, Mali, Malian army Col. Mamadou Coulibaly told reporters, per CNN.
The attackers remain inside the building however there are no more hostages remaining in the hotel.
Several people have been killed after multiple gunmen attacked a hotel in Mali's capital city of Bamako Friday, CNN reported.
Two or three attackers reportedly armed with AK-47s stormed the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako around 7 a.m. local time Friday, firing their guns as they entered before taking dozens of hostages.
The gunfire lasted for several minutes, according to witnesses. Shortly after, Malian soldiers and United Nations troops arrived on the scene, surrounding the 190-room luxury hotel.
By noon local time, roughly half of the estimated 170 hostages had been freed, according to CNN. However, that figure clashes with information provided in a company statement.
"We are closely following the hostage-taking incident that is taking place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Bamako / Mali today, 20th November 2015," the Rezidor Hotel Group said in a statement. "According to our latest information 125 guests and 13 employees are still in the building."
"Our highest concern is the safety of all our guests and employees in the hotel. We are in constant contact with the authorities there and will share further information with you when we have it."
Amid the chaos, Radisson Blu reached out to concerned family members via Twitter.
The Telegraph reported that witnesses heard the gunmen screaming "Allahu Akbar" and that the attackers were releasing hostages who were able to recite verses from the Quran, the central book of Islam.
A U.N. official told CNN that the three deceased victims have been identified as two Malian nationals and a French national.
CNN also reported that American soldiers have joined in to assist local and U.N. forces in ending the siege.
Friday's disturbing attack comes just one week after a series of terrorist attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead and hundreds more wounded.
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