Unidentified gunmen stormed into a Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako Mali, West Africa early on the morning on Nov. 20. The armed men were shouting ‘Allah Akbar’ as they entered the hotel lobby. The hotel company reported that 170 hostages were initially trapped inside. The standoff between the attackers and police forces is still ongoing. As of this report there have been 27 known casualties, although different news reporting agencies are reporting various casualty counts. It is being reported that all hostages have been rescued from the hotel. Among them were 6 Americans. The hotel may have been targeted due to the fact that French forces use Bamako as a logistics hub for helping fight Islamist insurgents.
Copycat Attack after the Paris Terror Event?
A group affiliated with al-Qaeda, ‘al-Mourabitou’, said its followers were behind the attack, according to the Reuters news agency, but the claim could not be independently verified. Mali has faced repeated attacks from militants linked to al-Qaeda and other factions, but the Islamic State does not have major footholds in the region.