Tag Archives: Mali

U.S. to decrease non-emergency embassy staff in Mali

WASHINGTON The U.S. State Division mentioned on Tuesday it had authorized the voluntary departure from Mali of eligible loved ones members and non-emergency personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Bamako, following an attack on a hotel in the capital final month.

It said in a statement that the U.S. Embassy in Mali will supply only emergency consular solutions to U.S. citizens for the foreseeable future.

Nineteen people have been killed, like one particular American, in an attack on Nov. 20 on a luxury hotel in Bamako claimed by two jihadist groups. The State Department mentioned security in Mali remains fluid and the prospective for attacks all through the nation remains.

(Reporting by Eric Beech Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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Attack on U.N. base in northern Mali causes casualties

KIDAL, Mali Gunmen attacked and fired rockets at a U.N. peacekeeping base in Kidal in northern Mali on Saturday, causing an unspecified quantity of casualties, a spokesman for the U.N. force in Mali (MINUSMA) mentioned.

“The attack occurred at about four a.m. (0400 GMT). Four or five rockets landed inside the base. Quite a few men and women were wounded but it really is too early for a precise number,” MINUSMA spokesman Olivier Salgado told Reuters.

French troops and the U.N. force are struggling to stabilize the former French colony where Islamist militants attacked a hotel in the capital on Nov. 20 and killed 20 men and women.

3 Islamist militant groups – al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI), its splinter group al Mourabitoun and Massina Liberation Front (MLF) – claimed the attack on the Radisson Blu hotel. Security analysts say they could be collaborating.

Northern Mali was occupied by Islamist fighters, some with links to al Qaeda, for most of 2012. They had been driven out by a French-led military operation, but violence has continued.

Other West African governments are also battling Islamist militants. Boko Haram, the top such group in the region, has this year extended its attacks from Nigeria to neighboring states of Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

(Reporting by Souleymane Ag Anara in Kidal and Adama Diarra in Bamako Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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Mali says arrests two suspects linked to Bamako hotel attack

BAMAKO Mali’s security ministry arrested two people suspected of hyperlinks to an attack on a luxury hotel in the country’s capital that killed 20 people, the ministry said on Thursday.

At least two armed guys attacked the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on Friday in a dawn raid, killing six Russians, three Chinese and an American among others, in the worst jihadist strike on the West African country in years.

The siege ended hours later when Malian commandos stormed the hotel and freed 170 hostages. Two attackers were killed.

“There are two suspects arrested,” mentioned Amadou Sangho, a spokesman for the ministry.

The two attackers have not yet been identified. 3 Islamist militant groups have claimed the strike.

A supply close to the probe investigation mentioned the suspects had been brought in for interrogation, primarily based on info identified in 1 of the attacker’s mobile phones.

A single of them had been routinely in touch given that August whilst another sent phone credit to an attacker, he said.

(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo and Adama Diarra Writing by Emma Farge Editing by Larry King)

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Spurred by Defiance and Necessity, Life Goes On in Mali Right after Attack

BAMAKO, Mali — On a sunny weekend morning, a single day right after gunmen went on a murderous rampage at the Radisson Blu hotel, a regional dignitary sped across town in his official government S.U.V.

There was no motorcade of bodyguards trailing the man, no dark tinted windows, not even a siren to clear the road. The man, Karim Keïta, son of Mali’s president and head of the commission of national defense, dangled out the open passenger window as he winked at passers-by.

“Look at how open Mali is,” Mr. Keïta mentioned on Saturday as he pointed out the quite a few locations that safety authorities would call “soft targets” for terrorists: a quick cement wall along the perimeter of the parliamentary creating over which a grenade easily could be tossed restaurants along the street exactly where crowds gather for carefree evenings well-liked hotels that have carried out absolutely nothing to improve their currently lax security.

The spectacular attack here in Mali’s capital on Friday killed 19 folks as nicely as the two gunmen who carried it out. A member of Al Qaeda in Africa confirmed that the attack was carried out by a jihadist group loyal to Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an Algerian operative for Al Qaeda.

The assault at the Radisson Blu shattered a short, precarious calm that had taken hold following years of war and civil strife. Mali’s lengthy stretch of violence, highlighted by a bloody coup in 2012 and the ensuing rebel takeover of big swaths of the country in the north, has been so notorious that it has prompted the deployment of a enormous United Nations peacekeeping force, has spawned internationally brokered peace talks among different factions and has often compelled world leaders to weigh in and denounce the mayhem.

In the days after gunmen staged deadly attacks in Paris, the city’s companies, schools, museums and parks closed temporarily. In Mali, nevertheless, life goes on.

“Mali will not shut down due to the fact of this attack.” President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta said in the course of a check out to the Radisson Blu on Saturday. “Terrorism will not win.”

For some in Mali, carrying on had little to do with bravery in the face of terrorism it was a easy matter of economics in 1 of the world’s poorest nations.

“If we remain home, how are we going to feed our families?” mentioned Youssouf Traore, who was peddling traditional statues Sunday morning outdoors the headquarters of the United Nations operation here.

Mr. Traore was operating the day in 2012 when the military took over the national tv station subsequent to his shop. He closed the door and holed up inside his organization for hours as soldiers confiscated his statues to block the roads.

“You by no means know when lizards will start off fighting,” he said, quoting a neighborhood saying for the inability to predict the unknown. “Of course we are scared — it’s an uncertain scenario.”

But right here in Bamako, individuals look to take the security scenario, or insecurity situation, in stride. Most seem to agree the country demands tighter security, but a weekend tour of this sprawling city, bisected by the wide Niger River, shows that tiny has been done toward that finish.

A state of emergency has been called, but proof of just what that entailed was scant. Outside 1 hotel well-known with foreigners and regional imams gathering for peace talks, a sleepy guard pretended to peer in the bags he was needed to verify. No 1 had told him to do something differently in light of the attacks much less than a mile away.

The barrier gate was open at a neighborhood of embassies and houses of diplomats, permitting any person to pass through. People swarmed open-air markets and carried on with weddings and outings with buddies. Security outdoors the airport amounted to no a lot more than shooing away aggressive phone-card sellers.

“There is no security here,” said Ali Mahamedou, a member of the peace talks committee, as he stood at the airport, scoffing at what he saw.

Dr. Kassim Ouattara, an emergency area physician, was on get in touch with when victims of the attack began arriving at the hospital Friday.

“I was so frustrated and so sad,” he said. “I asked God to give me the energy to kill these poor men” who had carried out the attacks.

Security around town should be bolstered, he stated, but after talking to his neighbors he understood why most men and women are behaving normally. They operate close to the Radisson Blu, and the day right after the attacks they went back to their jobs.

“We have no choice,” Dr. Outtara said they told him.

Along the popular Rue Princess, a street lined with boutiques, nightclubs and restaurants, enterprise was a bit slower than usual on Saturday evening, workers there mentioned. In March, a masked gunman killed five people in a grenade and machine gun attack at the La Terrace bar nearby.

Sitting outside that bar, now referred to as Doo Doo, amongst the empty beer bottles collected more than the weekend, Allassane Doua mentioned he had been on the lookout for something suspicious. He performs at bar Bla Bla, next to the site of the March attack.

“We’ll keep going with life,” Mr. Doua stated. “You shouldn’t expect people’s way of life to adjust. We fight for the future, not the previous.”

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Agen Sabung Ayam – 3 Chinese Executives Killed in Mali Attack, Organization Says

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BEIJING — Three senior executives of a Chinese state-owned rail construction organization had been killed by gunmen at the start off of the deadly hotel siege in the capital of the West African nation of Mali, the organization mentioned on Saturday.

The three males have been all described as knowledgeable negotiators, seasoned in developing infrastructure in some of the toughest and most remote components of the world.

One particular of them, Chang Xuehui, the regional basic manager in West Africa for the China Railway Building Corporation, had written recently on the firm site that arduous travel in Africa typically left him exhausted and that a bout of malaria even though he was in Gabon, also in West Africa, had depleted his power. But “my job can’t stop,” he wrote.

The other two executives had been Zhou Tianxiang, 49, the common manager of the company’s international group, and Wang Xuanshang, deputy common manager of the international group, according to the site. The Chinese Embassy in the Malian capital, Bamako, stated that seven Chinese citizens, all of them on organization trips, have been inside the Radisson Blu Hotel at the time of the attack on Friday. Four had been rescued with the aid of French specific forces, the embassy stated.

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China Railway Building, a giant conglomerate with infrastructure projects in 17 nations, including in Latin America and Southeast Asia, announced a $ 1.five billion deal with the Malian government final fall to rehabilitate a strategic rail line from Bamako to Dakar, the capital of Senegal. The railway was made to bolster exports of Mali’s iron ore.

At the exact same time, yet another Chinese company, China Railway Engineering Corporation, signed an $ 8 billion deal to construct a new rail line from Bamako to the port of Conakry in Guinea. That was also intended to carry iron ore out of the landlocked country to the sea.

Chinese investment in infrastructure in Africa fell last year, but some big offers were signed, and China Railway Building stated on its site that the initial design and pricing for the Malian project were due to be completed by April 2015.

A public affairs official for the organization told The Paper, a Shanghai-primarily based news portal, that the three executives had been in the lobby of the hotel greeting visitors when the heavily armed attackers burst in wielding machine guns.

Mr. Zhou, the most senior of the 3, had just been transferred to his job as manager of the international group from an additional major state-owned construction firm, the organization said. He had after worked in Tanzania, the African nation where China very first constructed railways in the 1960s, and had not too long ago finished an assignment in Russia.

Mr. Wang, the deputy for the international group, had previously worked in Luanda, the capital of Angola, the business said.

Describing his perform in an write-up on the organization web site, Mr. Chang mentioned that as a member of the Communist Celebration, he was determined to do his best in spite of the rough situations in Africa.

“Because of my job, my colleagues and I require to often fly from nation to nation in Africa,” he wrote. “Sometimes the lengthy hours of traveling and the uncertainty of African airlines leave us without significantly sleep, and we have to turn up to meet government leaders as quickly as we get off the plane. But we all deeply understand our mission and duty that no matter how massive the pressure and how exhausted we are, we must finish our job on time and effectively.”

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Agen Sabung Ayam – News Evaluation: Groups Claiming Responsibility in Mali Attack Have History of Resilience

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WASHINGTON â?? The two Islamic extremist groups that claimed duty for the assault on the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali on Friday are amongst the most harmful and resilient in a hodgepodge of terrorist organizations in northwest Africa that have ties to nomadic tribesmen as properly as Al Qaeda.

One particular of the groups, Al Mourabitoun, based in the ungoverned triangle of desert between Libya, Mali and Niger, was founded by Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the a single-eyed mastermind of the 2013 terrorist seizure of an Algerian gas plant that left 38 foreign hostages dead. Franceâ??s defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, mentioned Mr. Belmokhtar was â??likely behindâ? Fridayâ??s deadly attack.

The other group,

Mr. Belmokhtarâ??s success in maneuvering largely unhindered for years in the deserts of northern Mali and southern Algeria and Libya was a result of his masterful integration into the neighborhood populations. He is believed to have married a lady from the Timbuktu region of Mali, spoke the regional dialects and shared some of his wealthy takings from kidnappings.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which grew out of an Algerian insurgency, was forced to reorient itself away from attacks aimed at overthrowing the Algerian government and toward international attacks following its merger with Al Qaeda in late 2006. The group, even so, suffered from internal rifts led by Mr. Belmokhtar, who saw himself as the organic heir to Al Qaeda in the area and chafed at becoming a subordinate.

The Sahel-primarily based commander started to operate far more and far more independently of the groupâ??s leadership. The feud spilled into the open in late 2012, when Mr. Belmokhtar split with Al Qaedaâ??s regional leadership, saying he wanted to report directly to the terrorist groupâ??s main leaders in Pakistan.

His first attack as an independent operator came in January 2013, when he led the assault on the Algerian gas plant that resulted in the deaths of 38 civilians, like three Americans.

Since then, he has changed the name and composition of his group several occasions, such as in August 2013, when his group joined one more breakaway faction from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb to establish but one more group: Al Mourabitoun.

Agen Sabung Ayam – Paris and Mali Attacks Expose Lethal Qaeda-ISIS Rivalry

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BEIRUT, Lebanon — Just before the hostage crisis at a Malian hotel was over, just before the gunmen had even been identified, admirers of Al Qaeda and the rival Islamic State began jostling on social media more than which of the jihadist organizations was a lot more righteous and a lot more prominent.

One particular apparent supporter of Al Qaeda, whose Twitter profile suggested he could be a fighter in Syria affiliated with the group, swiftly declared on the web that the Islamic State could “learn a point or two” from the Mali attack, scornfully brushing off ideas that the newer, upstart group had carried it out.

“Allahu alam” — God knows ideal — “they do not operate in #Mali,” the post said. “We all know who operated there.”

Specifically a week ahead of Friday’s siege in Bamako, Mali, the Islamic State, also recognized as ISIS or ISIL, shocked the planet with attacks across Paris that killed 130 folks. Militants linked to Al Qaeda took credit for the hotel attack. And while the group cited nearby grievances as the rationale, it was also clear that the hostage-taking played into the increasing and violent rivalry in between the two groups.

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After united below the Qaeda brand, they split over differing techniques in Syria. The Islamic State has considering that emerged as the most dynamic, well-liked force amongst radicalized Muslims, fueling a competitors for recruits, money and bragging rights among extremists who see bloodletting as the ideal way to advance an Islamist agenda.

That competition has led to lethal a single-upmanship that will be challenging to stamp out, provided innumerable soft targets, even if armies can weaken the groups in their bases in the Middle East and Africa.

The rivalry took a especially vicious turn in Paris in January. Al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate claimed responsibility after gunmen slaughtered the staff of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo — the most daring attack on the West in years by a group that had begun to be noticed, in jihadist terms, as a bit graying and cautious compared with the social media-savvy Islamic State.

Some European analysts think that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Islamic State operative who officials say orchestrated last week’s Paris killings, saw the January attack as an urgent challenge to do some thing bigger.

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Mr. Abaaoud is believed to have been entrusted with beginning an Islamic State campaign of attacks in Europe, but his earliest attempts failed, which includes an attack on a Paris-bound train that was stopped when passengers overpowered the gunman. His mentor, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, a senior leader of the group, appeared to boost the pressure, publicly taunting Muslims who failed to use any accessible signifies — “a bullet, a knife, a vehicle, a rock” — to shed “crusader blood.”

Following months of attempting, Mr. Abaaoud pulled off final week’s attacks — which, in turn, some supporters of Al Qaeda saw as anything to be matched in fearsomeness and surpassed with what, in their view, was a more moral method, taking care to limit the deaths of Muslim civilians.

The Mali gunmen weeded out Muslims by demanding that hostages recite verses from the Quran to be freed.

“Lions who carried out #MaliAttack separated Muslims from Christian in order2 shield the inviolable blood of Muslims,” one particular supporter wrote on Twitter.

An additional — calling himself Abu Sufian al-Libi, or the Libyan, on a Twitter profile that suggested he was fighting in Syria with Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front affiliate — responded enthusiastically.

“This is how Muslims Should act!” he wrote, adding that the Islamic State “should understand a point or two and drop their crooked creed and methodology,” an apparent reference to the group’s willingness to consist of Muslims in its slaughter of civilians. Muslims account for a majority of the Islamic State’s victims in Iraq and Syria, and some of those killed in Paris final week.

Practically a decade and a half ago, on Sept. 11, 2001, Al Qaeda seized the world’s consideration with a uniquely spectacular act of terrorism, and it proceeded to harass the United States and its allies with attacks and insurgencies on several fronts around the globe. But in recent years, it has been eclipsed by the Islamic State, which dazzled jihadists by swiftly conquering wide stretches of territory in Syria and Iraq, generating what it calls a caliphate and erasing a decades-old colonial border.

“All the consideration has been focused on the Islamic State, Iraq, Syria and threats to the West,” said Richard Barrett, former head of global counterterrorism operations at Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency and now an analyst at the Soufan Group. “The guys in Mali saw a big chance to remind every person that they are still relevant.”

For both Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, killing civilians has been a tactic and a approach. But they have disagreed over just how bloody to be. During the extended insurgency against the American occupation of Iraq, Al Qaeda’s leader there, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, oversaw a bloody campaign of suicide bombings. The attacks targeted each the American military and Iraqi civilians, such as Muslims — and specifically Shiites. The group saw Shiites as rivals for energy in Iraq but also as apostates who, beneath an intense theology identified as takfir, had betrayed Islam and deserved to die.

Al Qaeda’s global leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, at some point called on the group’s affiliates to avoid such wholesale killings, saying they tarnished the movement and hindered recruiting.

In Syria, the Nusra Front has sought partnerships with other insurgent groups that the Islamic State prefers to crush, and it has not carried out massacres with the scale or regularity of the Islamic State. (Not that Nusra has been a model of very good governance in the places it controls in Syria it has killed opponents and driven out minorities as well.)

Their differences have been much less over ultimate ambitions than over how to achieve them, and in what order. Al Qaeda has usually embedded itself in local movements and helped them fight whilst also preparing attacks against the “far enemy” in the West. The Islamic State set out to establish and rule a caliphate, and to obtain power from that claim of legitimacy.

In Syria, that put the two at odds. The Nusra Front produced toppling President Bashar al-Assad its priority and sees the formation of a caliphate now as premature and a distraction.

Yet each has to some degree — perhaps as a result of competition, analysts say — adopted the other’s techniques, with Al Qaeda holding ground in some components of Syria and Yemen and the Islamic State carrying out attacks in Paris, far from its base.

Whilst a lot of perceive them as mindlessly violent and nihilistic, members of both groups have, in their minds, a set of rationales for high-profile violence against civilians that they believe will help them accomplish their targets.

The approach is what Peter Neumann, a professor at King’s College London and director of its International Center for the Study of Radicalization, named “the propaganda of the deed” — a type of violence as performance that was also used by 19th-century anarchists.

The purpose, he said, is “to inspire overreaction, inspiration and retaliation” — to provoke violence from governments that radicalizes far more individuals and deepens the pool of recruits.

For Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, that signifies fulfilling their vision of a clash with “crusaders” by provoking the West to lash out, letting the groups portray it as waging war on Muslims.

But there are other, much more sensible causes for the attacks. They are a kind of asymmetrical warfare, utilized against stronger opponents. And specifically for the Islamic State, with its territorial ambitions, they are a way to make certain compliance from the conquered. Public beheadings, shootings or even crucifixions are techniques to terrorize neighborhood populations in regions the group has taken over.

Exactly where the Islamic State innovated the most was in carrying out increasingly gruesome violence explicitly to film it — to intimidate enemies and to draw recruits with eye-catching displays on social media. It built on techniques Al Qaeda had pioneered — like the on-camera beheadings of Daniel Pearl in Pakistan and, later, of other victims in Iraq. But it filmed them with Hollywood production values — for instance, clearly utilizing sophisticated moviemaking equipment to record dozens of Egyptian Copts becoming slaughtered at sunset on a beach.

These methods have proved so effective in recruiting from a generation glued to cellphone videos that the Nusra Front and even other militant groups have begun to copy the high-quality, frequently melodramatic style of Islamic State videos.

The group has frequently issued such videos whilst suffering setbacks on the ground, as it has lately in Syria and Iraq, with nations intensifying their attacks.

“This sense of inevitable victory was going, and now, with the attack in Paris, individuals are super enthusiastic again,” Mr. Neumann stated of Islamic State chatter on social media. “Like they are on a winning group.”

In the course of and right after the Mali attack, as supporters of the rival groups aired their variations, 1 tried to be conciliatory.

“I just wish we could all be brothers again&amp not argue,” he wrote on Twitter.

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Agen Sabung Ayam – Mali attack: 21 dead right after terrorist raid on Bamako hotel

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Security forces surround the Radisson hotel, Bamako, Mali. Photograph: EPA

A terror attack at a luxury hotel in Bamako, Mali, on Friday has highlighted the world’s developing vulnerability to extremist violence, with at least 27 men and women located dead when specific forces sooner or later re-took the developing.

Significantly less than a week after the Paris gun and suicide bomb attacks in which 130 individuals were killed, a group of heavily-armed and seemingly well-trained gunmen stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital, Bamako, employing a vehicle with diplomatic number plates to drive unchallenged into an inner compound.

Once there, witnesses stated, they detonated grenades and opened fire at safety guards just before taking hostage around 170 individuals, amongst them diplomats, a celebrated Guinean singer and air crew from France and Turkey, as nicely as Indian and Chinese nationals.

The siege was the newest in a string of current high-profile terror attacks, from bombings in Beirut and the downing of a Russian airline over the Sinai desert to the events of the streets of Paris.

By late Friday evening Malian specific forces, assisted by counterparts from the US and France, had fought their way by means of the hotel, floor by floor, reportedly killing at least two of the gunmen.

Related: Mali hotel attack – in photographs

At least 30 people escaped during the siege and UN peacekeeping troops stated they had discovered at least 27 bodies in a preliminary search of the hotel. The toll could well rise, with some gunmen reportedly nevertheless holed up in an upper floor of the developing on Friday evening.

“The attackers no longer have hostages,” said security ministry spokesman Amadou Sanghou. “They are dug in in the upper floors. They are alone with the Malian specific forces who are trying to dislodge them.”

A military official said the gunmen shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they began the attack. Al-Mourabitoun, an African jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, claimed duty in a message posted on Twitter.

The bloody attack is a blow to for Mali’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, who rushed back from a meeting of regional leaders in Chad. It also marks one more reverse for François Hollande, whose country ruled Mali for 68 years till 1960. The French president gained important political capital for his 2013 selection to commit French troops to driving Islamist forces out of the north of Mali.

Hollande personally flew out to Timbuktu in February 2013, five days right after French forces had routed the occupying jihadists, to hail the operation, saying it had “brought hope to the populations of northern Mali”.

His deployment of 3,700 French ground troops to help the faltering efforts of Mali’s military had been noticed as deeply risky, but in the finish it took just 23 days for the French to retake most of a swath of territory held for nine months by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim).

Al-Mourabitoun – whose claim that it carried out the hotel attack is however to be verified – is a much more current incarnation of militant Islamism. Based in northern Mali, it is created up largely of Tuaregs and Arabs and was formed only about two years ago.

The attack on the Radisson, one of Bamako’s plushest hotels in a neighbourhood also home to government ministries and diplomats, appeared notably brutal, although it remained unclear how a lot of individuals were killed by the attackers and who may well have died whilst the hotel was stormed by troops.

State television showed footage of soldiers in camouflage fatigues wielding AK47s in the lobby of the hotel. In the background, a physique lay under a brown blanket at the bottom of a flight of stairs.

The UN peacekeepers saw 12 dead bodies in the basement of the hotel and yet another 15 on the second floor, a UN official told Reuters. He said the UN troops were nonetheless helping Malian authorities search the hotel.

The hotel’s owner, the Rezidor Hotel Group, stated 170 guests and staff had been initially trapped. Some fled or escaped, with reports that the hostage-takers freed those who had been in a position to quote passages from the Qur’an.

Among the released hostages was a well-known Guinean singer, Sékouba “Bambino” Diabaté, who told reporters he heard some of the attackers in the room next to him speaking to each other in English. “I heard them say in English ‘Did you load it?’, ‘Let’s go’,” he mentioned. “I wasn’t able to see them simply because in these types of scenarios it’s difficult.”

Air France mentioned 12 of its crew who have been staying in the hotel were protected. It cancelled its scheduled flights to and from Bamako for Friday. Turkish Airlines had around seven or eight employees staying at the hotel, with most of them released just before the constructing was re-taken.

India’s foreign ministry mentioned 20 Indian nationals were among the hostages, but that they were all known to be alive. Seven Algerians, such as diplomats, had been trapped in a hotel, according to the country’s foreign ministry.

The Pentagon mentioned 22 military and civilian employees in the city have been accounted for after the attack.

The US Africa Command mentioned forces stationed in Mali helped to secure the scene, even though France’s national gendarme service stated about 40 French specific police forces, based in Bamako, took part in the assault on the hotel. A security supply told Reuters the troops cleared the creating floor by floor. “The attackers are nevertheless inside. We’re hearing gunfire from time to time,” a witness outside the hotel told the agency following the hostages have been freed.

Ban Ki-moon condemned the “horrific” attack, his spokesman saying the UN secretary common expressed “full assistance to the Malian authorities in their fight against terrorist and extremist groups”.

Northern Mali was occupied by rebel fighters, some with links to al-Qaida, for most of 2012. Although they have been driven out by the French-led military operation, sporadic violence continues.

In the two and a half years because the French intervention, Mali and its international partners have been operating to rebuild, with elections later in 2013 returning Keïta to energy. The 70-year-old who had previously been president from 1994 to 2000.

This summer time, long-running peace talks in Algiers saw agreement among Mali’s government and Tuareg-led separatist rebels, which granted greater autonomy to northern regions and aimed to avoid a repeat of the 2012 uprising.

But, as with Afghanistan or Iraq, the conflict has by no means fully gone away, with a selection of armed groups still operating in the north, including jihadi offshoots such as al-Mourabitoun, as properly as various separatist organisations.

Not too long ago, the jihadi difficulty has shown indicators of creeping into central and southern Mali. The Radisson attack follows a nearly 24-hour siege and hostage-taking at another hotel in August in the central Malian town of Sevare in which 5 UN workers have been killed, along with four soldiers and 4 attackers.

5 individuals, like a French citizen and a Belgian, had been also killed in an attack at a restaurant in Bamako in March, in the very first such incident in the capital. Both attacks have been also claimed by al-Mourabitoun.

Agen Sabung Ayam – Hostages Seized in Attack on Radisson Hotel in Mali

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DAKAR, Senegal — Two gunmen stormed a Radisson Hotel in Bamako, Mali, on Friday morning and seized 170 hostages, the hotel manager told Agence France-Presse.

A telephone call to the Radisson was answered, but only sirens wailing in the background could be heard.

“The Embassy is conscious of an ongoing active shooter operation at the Radisson Hotel,” the United States Embasy in Bamako said in a statement. “The U.S. Embassy employees has been asked to shelter in place. All U.S. citizens ought to shelter in place. Private U.S. citizens are encouraged to get in touch with their household. Monitor nearby media for updates. U.S. citizens need to adhere to the guidelines of regional authorities and monitor regional media.”

Northern Mali fell under the manage of Islamist militants in 2012, but a French-led offensive ousted them in 2013.

Remnants of the group have staged a quantity of attacks on United Nations peacekeepers and Malian forces.

In August, jihadists stormed a hotel in Sevare, north of the capital, exactly where United Nations employees members had been staying, seizing hostages and killing at least 5 Malian soldiers and a United Nations contractor.

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Agen Sabung Ayam – Eyewitness: Bamako, Mali

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Photographs from the Eyewitness series

Model Mamadou Racine wears designs made from &ltem&gtbazin&lt/em&gt, a polished cotton fabric worn at almost all formal occasions in Mali, during Festi’Bazin, held in late October

Model Mamadou Racine wears styles made from bazin, a polished cotton fabric worn at practically all formal occasions in Mali, throughout Festi’Bazin, held in late October