The trail of blood that has been shaking the world from West to East and from North to South during the last days has not come to an end yet. After the attacks in Paris on 13 November, jihad’s murderous rage struck Bamako, the capital of Mali, where the luxury hotel Radisson Blue was stormed by a group of at least 12 terrorists who held 170 people (140 guests and 30 staff members) hostage for hours. The attack took place at around 7 am when the militiamen broke into the structure shouting “Allah u Akbar!” (“God is great”), shooting and launching grenades. The first hostages were released by the assailants after they having recited some verses from the Koran. To save the others, a blitz of the Malian and US security forces was needed. The total number of the victims is 27, including the terrorists (all whom are dead). Were released also 12 Air France crew members and 5 Turkish Airlines crew members out of 6, held hostage in the hotel.
Among the victims, according to local authorities, there are at least one French, one Belgian and two Malian citizens, as well as three terrorists. The attack was claimed by the Islamist group Ansar Eddine, which was among the leaders of the 2013 Tuareg insurrection in Azawad, and by qaedists belonging to al Mourabitoun, an armed group founded by the Algerian terrorist Mokhtar Belmokhtar. The situation remains extremely unstable and information is still patchy because the blitz of the Malian special forces, supported by US and French troops, has not finished yet. As the spokesman of the Malian Ministry of Security reported (quoted by BBC), currently the special forces are still chasing some gunmen on the upper floors of the hotel. What is clear so far is that three of the assailants who have stormed the hotel yesterday morning, have been killed during the blitz. Among the first ones to have been released in the raid were 12 Air France crew members, while three Turkish Airlines employees seem to have managed to escape. The Pentagon has said that also 22 US citizens – both soldiers and civilians – are safe.
Immediately after the attack, Mali Prime Minister Modibo Keita and Security Minister Salif Traore made operational a body dealing with critical situations inside the building of the government itself, while President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who yesterday morning was in N ‘N’Djamena, capital of Chad, to attend the summit of the leaders of the Sahel G5 countries, condemned the attack and addressed Malian citizens with an appeal to keep calm. “I deplore what is happening in Mali. Security forces were deployed to release the hostages. Some of them have already been released. I appeal to the people of Mali to ‘preserve calm and serenity”, said Keita during a quick press conference before leaving for Bamako.