Monday, 23 November 2015

UPDATE!!! Mali Hotel Attack: Three Days Of National Mourning Begin



Mali has begun three days of national mourning following Friday’s militant Islamist attack on a hotel in the capital, Bamako, in which 19 people were killed.

Malian and international troops stormed the Radisson Blu hotel to free guests and staff being held hostage. Two gunmen were killed.

Two separate Islamist groups have said they carried out the attack.

Investigators have yet to determine the number and nationality of the gunmen.

However, one security source in Mali told the BBC officials believed that the two dead gunmen had been speaking English during the attack.
The source said six of the dead were Malian, including one gendarme. Thirteen foreign nationals are confirmed dead.

Ahead of the three days of national mourning, the chairman of the West African regional bloc Ecowas, Senegal’s President Macky Sall, visited Bamako to show support.

He said on Sunday: “Mali will never be alone in this fight, we are all committed because we are all involved.”

Senegal, Mauritania and Guinea are also observing the mourning.



Two militant Islamist groups have said they carried out the attack.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its affiliate, al-Murabitoun, said they were responsible. A spokesman told al-Jazeera two Malian gunmen had carried out the attack.

However, the Macina Liberation Front, which has been blamed for attacks in southern Mali, also claimed responsibility.

Security remains tight around major hotels in Bamako.

Gunmen entered the hotel on Friday morning, shooting and driving their vehicle through a security barrier, one eyewitness said.

Most of the hotel guests and staff were freed hours later when Malian special forces, French special forces and off-duty US servicemen stormed the hotel to end the siege.
The victims
Six Malians, including one gendarme – further details have not be released.
Six Russians were killed, all employees of the Volga-Dnepr airline, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. Volga-Dnepr reported that the six were Stanislav Dumansky and Pavel Kudryavtsev, mechanics; Vladimir Kudryashov, a flight radio operator; Konstantin Preobrazhensky, a flight engineer; Sergey Yurasov, a load manager, and Aleksandr Kononenko, a navigator.
Three Chinese, Zhou Tianxiang and Wang Xuanshang and Chang Xuehui were executives from the state-owned China Railway Construction Corp, the company said in a statement on its website.
Two Belgians, including Geoffrey Dieudonne, an official at the parliament in Belgium’s Wallonia region.
US national Anita Ashok Datar, 41, was in Mali working on projects involving family planning and HIV. Ms Datar, the mother of a seven-year-old boy, was a senior manager at Palladium Group, an international development organisation.
Israeli education consultant and executive Shmuel Benalal, who is reported to have been in Mali to work with the government.

Credit: BBC