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ICC NOTE: Islamist terrorists stormed a popular U.S. owned hotel, the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali, screaming Islamic quotes and brandishing weapons toward the guests. Malian special forces have entered the hotel in an attempt to end the siege which has included 170 people hostage. At present 80 people have been rescued by Malian forces as they continue to make a floor by floor search for more hostages and the terrorists in question. The report suggested they arrived on the property in a diplomatic licensed vehicle allowing for them to reach the hotel much closer than usual. Mali has been in a civil war among northern Islamic radicals and the more populated moderate south. French forces intervened in their former colony in 2013 attempting to quell the violence. Recently the International Criminal Court brought a Malian Islamic terrorist to trial on charges of destruction of religious holy sites as he targeted both Christian and Muslim sites during the early onset of the conflict. 

11/20/2015 Mali (BBC) – Malian special forces have entered the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali’s capital, Bamako, to end a siege by gunmen who had been holding 170 people hostage.

The gunmen stormed the US-owned hotel, which is popular with foreign businesses and airline crews, shooting and shouting “God is great!” in Arabic.

Malian state TV is reporting that 80 people have now been freed.

At least three people are reported to have been killed in the siege that started around 07:00 GMT.

Air France says 12 of its crew have been successfully freed in the rescue operation.Among the other guests staying at the hotel are six Turkish Airlines staff, 20 Indian nationals and reports of up to 10 Chinese citizens.

The UN peacekeeping force said it was supporting the operation as Malian special forces are reported to be freeing hostages “floor by floor”.

An Ivorian guest said she and six other people were escorted out by security forces as the gunmen rushed “toward the fifth or sixth floor”.

“I think they are still there. I’ve left the hotel and I don’t know where to go. I’m tired and in a state of shock,” Monique Kouame Affoue Ekonde told the AP news agency.

Earlier, a security source told Reuters that some hostages who were able to recite verses of the Koran were being freed.

In August, suspected Islamist gunmen killed 13 people, including five UN workers, during a hostage siege at a hotel in the central Malian town of Sevare.

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