TV Licensing

Don't forget, to watch TV online as it's being broadcast, you still need to be covered by a TV Licence.

Find out more

Summary

  1. Suspected Islamist gunmen have "no more hostages", officials say
  2. At least 21 reported dead
  3. 170 people had been trapped in Radisson Blu hotel
  4. Hotel popular with foreign businesses and airline crews
  5. An al-Qaeda affiliated group says it was behind attack
  6. The hotel's special information line: is +33 170837437

Live reporting

By Clare Spencer, Damian Zane, Hugo Williams and Naziru Mikailu

Get involved

Goodnight

We'll be back on Monday

That's the end of our live coverage of the Mali hotel attack, in which the UN says at least 27 people have been killed.

It's not yet clear whether the security operation is over at the Radisson Blu hotel in the capital Bamako, but there are no more hostages inside.

For updates, follow the full BBC News story

We leave you with this picture of Bamako residents outside the Radisson hotel, cheering the Malian soldiers who took part in the hostage rescue operation.

Peoplecheer Malian soldiers in front of the Radisson hotel in Bamako
Reuters

'No French citizens killed'

The French defence minister has told Reuters news agency that at this stage there are no French citizens among those killed in the Mali hotel attack.

French cartoon honours Malian victims

French cartoonist Herve Baudry has pledged his solidarity to the victims of the Bamako hotel attack with a cartoon depicting the Eiffel tower in the colours of the Malian flag. 

twitter: https://twitter.com/hervebaudry/status/667707359570075648

A picture of the Eiffel tower transformed into the peace symbol went viral in the wake of the Paris attacks.

twitter: https://twitter.com/jean_jullien/status/665305363500011521

Operation to clear Radisson hotel ongoing

A spokesman for the UN mission in Mali Olivier Salgado says security forces are going from room to room checking for more casualties, the AP news agency reports.

Another official quoted by the AP said 12 bodies were found in the basement of Radisson Blu hotel and 15 on the second floor.

However, the official said that operations are ongoing and that the building had yet to be totally cleared.

Context of Bamako attacks

Today's attack on the Malian capital Bamako is the second this year, after five people were killed in a bar popular with foreign nationals back in March.

In August, attackers killed 13 people, including five UN workers, in another hotel siege in the Malian town of Sevare, 600km north of Bamako.

However, until recently, Islamist-related violence has not reached too far south in this vast West African state.

Instead, Malian security forces and UN peacekeepers have kept their focus on areas north of the River Niger and in the Sahara desert, where al-Qaeda linked militants and Touareg secessionists combined to seize vast swathes of territory back in 2013, before France sent troops to push them back.

Two attackers 'killed'

At least two jihadists have been killed and 27 hostages died in the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali's capital, Bamako, a UN official said, Associated Press news agency reports.

The operations are still ongoing, the official added.

How did attackers get diplomatic plates?

Mali based French journalist François Rihouay told BBC World news a big unanswered question now is how the attackers got hold of a black 4x4 car with diplomatic number plates.

The hotel gardener witnessed attackers enter the grounds of the hotel in a car with a diplomatic license plate.

"They were masked. At the gate of the hotel, the guard stopped them and they started firing and we fled," said the witness.

A high-level security official has told Mr Rihouay that the final death toll is 18, as well as two attackers.

According to the military source he quoted, there were only two attackers involved.

Gunmen 'still holding out'

Mali's security ministry has told Reuters that gunmen are still holding out in the hotel they attacked early this morning:

"The attackers no longer have hostages. They are dug in in the upper floors. They are alone with the Malian special forces who are trying to dislodge them," spokesman Amadou Sangho said.

'Bamako will be free forever'

Malian singer Inna Modja has shared this picture from Bamako in support of her compatriots after the attack of a hotel nearby.

twitter: https://twitter.com/Innamodja/status/667725309224034304

The French part of the tweet says:

"The wings of Bamako will be free forever!"

Street artist Marco Contisikic painted the wings on walls across Bamako only a few weeks ago.

How many attackers were there?

Thomas Fessy has been reporting from outside the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali.

He says that:

"It took seven hours from the beginning of the attack to get all the guests out of the hotel an hour ago, and now the area is totally cordoned off.

"But the big question is how many attackers were there - we've heard between two to a dozen.

"This is all still unclear."

Rescued hostages were led away from the hotel by Malian security forces:

Woman being rescued
BBC
Woman being rescued
BBC

UN Secretary General condemns Mali attack

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has condemned what he described as a "

horrific terrorist attack at the Radisson hotel in Bamako".

He also expressed his condolences to Mali's government and the bereaved families.

Mr Ban said he fully supported "the Malian authorities in their fight against terrorist and extremist groups".

Extent of US involvement in Mali hostage situation

The US Department of Defense has told the BBC that two Americans have been involved in the operation to end the hostage situation in Mali's capital, Bamako.

One was from US Special Operations and was on a temporary assignment to the US embassy in Bamako. He assisted at the hotel, but was not part of the raid.

Department of Defense officials stress that he was not on an assignment to help with the hotel situation, but got involved when he realized what was taking place.

A second Department of Defense staffer was in a US-Mali Joint Operations Centre "offering advice" as the situation unfolded.

All officials have been accounted for.

Which countries did hostages come from?

Malian news website

Maliactu lists 14 nationalities among the guests caught up in the hostage situation. They are:

Algerian, German, Belgian, Canadian, Chinese, Ivorian, Spanish, American, French, Indian, Moroccan, Russian, Senegalese and Turkish.

Of the people reported killed in the siege, the only one who has so far been identified is Belgian government official Geoffrey Dieudonne.

Who is claiming responsibility?

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and its affiliate al-Murabitoun, which is led by

Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar, have claimed joint responsibility for the attack on the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali's capital, Bamako, the Mauritanian news agency Al-Akhbar reported.

Al-Akhbar is considered a reliable source of information about al-Murabitoun operations, and the group has often chosen to publish its messages through the agency.

Meanwhile, Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV says that it has obtained a copy of a recorded statement made by al-Murabitoun.

Old images being shared on social media

Some people are sharing images purporting to show scenes from the attack on a luxury hotel in Bamako.

But

when BBC Trending looked into it they found they are from old stories.

This is one of the pictures being shared.

Two soldiers in Mali
Reuters

But twitter account

First Draft points out it is actually eight months old.

Image shared on Twitter about Mali
First Draft

The image has also been used by several news outlets:

Two soldiers in Mali
Getty Images

But it is from

news articles dating back to 18 August 2015 following violence in northern Mali where 20 separatists were killed by pro-government militia.

Could Bamako and Paris attacks be linked?

Just a week after the attacks on Paris, people are discussing if the attack on a hotel in Mali's capital, Bamako, could be linked. 

Brett McGurk, the US Special Presidential Envoy to the coalition battling so-called Islamic State, told the MSNBC news channel that it is too early to tell.

He added that the groups in Mali aren't particularly connected to IS - and it now seems that an al-Qaeda off-shoot may have carried out the attack .

Meanwhile, politics and security analyst Andrew Lebovich says logistics make him doubt there's a link:

twitter: https://twitter.com/tweetsintheME/status/667722260224937984

Gunshots heard inside the hotel

Mali-based French journalist François Rihouay was on-air talking to BBC World News from the hotel that was attacked in Bamako today when there were gunshots and he had to take cover.

He explained he was getting out of the way as people were bringing body bags downstairs.

"It looks like there has been kind of a panic in front of the hotel.

"Everybody thought it was finished but [now] it looks like things are really stable right now," he said.

'Fight now in upper floors of Mali hotel'

The Reuters news agency is quoting a Malian security ministry spokesman as saying that the country's special forces are still fighting gunmen in the upper floors of the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako.

US military 'safe' after Bamako hotel attack

The Pentagon - the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense - has confirmed 22 military and civilian personnel are safe after the attack on the luxury hotel in Bamako, reports Reuters.

Pictures of hostages leaving hotel

We are getting pictures in of hostages coming out of the hotel in Bamako after it was attacked by gunmen.

Lobby
BBC

Many hostages were trapped in their rooms.

Lobby
BBC
Lobby
BBC

Hostages leaving hotel

A journalist currently in the lobby of the Radisson Blu hotel which was attacked has told BBC World News that hostages are leaving the hotel right now.

Katarina Hoije said there is a heavy presence of security forces.

She has talked to witnesses who told her the attackers opened fire in the lobby before they started to move upstairs.

She added that many people were trapped inside their rooms.

"One woman was on the balcony."

She was not in the hotel at the time of the attack but has now gone in.

"No-one knows if there are still attackers in the building" she said.

Hostage being rescued
EPA

Radisson owner expresses sympathy for those caught up in Mali events

The CEO of Rezidor, the US company which owns the hotel that was attacked today in Mali's capital, Bamako,

has released a statement.

Wolfgang M Neumann says: "I want to express my deep personal concern for all of the guests and employees affected by the terrible events which are happening today at the Radisson Blu Bamako Hotel in Mali.

"I speak on behalf of the entire Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group in extending our deep sympathy to the families, colleagues and friends of all those touched by today's events."

UN peacekeepers 'count 27 bodies'

Reuters news agency report that UN peacekeepers have counted 27 bodies at the attack of a luxury hotel in Bamako.

Mali security forces 'tracking' gunmen down

Following the announcement that there are no more hostages at the hotel in Bamako, the AFP news agency is quoting Mali's Security Minister Salif Traore telling journalists that the security forces are now "in the process of tracking [the attackers] down".

Mali minister says 'gunmen no longer holding hostages'

Mali's Security Minister Salif Traore has told a news conference that the gunmen in the Radisson hotel are no longer holding any hostages.  

Mali's presidency has tweeted thanking the security forces and friendly countries for their support in the attacks on the Radisson, the luxury hotel in Bamako.

twitter: https://twitter.com/PresidenceMali/status/667731098068238336

Who are Al-Mourabitoun?

Tomi Oladipo

BBC Monitoring Africa security correspondent

Earlier we reported that Al-Mourabitoun has claimed responsibility for the attack on Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali. The claim has not been verified, but here is more about the group:

Al-Mourabitoun is active across the Sahel and North Africa and is led by the Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

Undated video grab of Mokhtar Belmokhtar
AFP
Mokhtar Belmokhtar lost an eye fighting Algerian troops in the 1990s

It claimed to have been behind an attack on a hotel in the central Malian city of Sevare in August where 19 people were killed. It also claimed responsibility for Bamako's first terror attack when five people were killed in a restaurant in March.

Belmokhtar is himself notorious for the deadly siege on a gas facility in Algeria in January 2013 when 800 people were taken hostage and 40 killed.

If the group are linked to al-Mourabitoun then that would be a sign that the group has identified Mali as a key scene for its violent campaign.

Al-Mourabitoun has not commented on the Paris attacks so it would be too soon to say both are linked.

US advises citizens in Mali to 'continue sheltering'

The US Embassy in Mali's capital, Bamako, has

on its Facebook page repeated its advice to US citizens for people to stay indoors as the "security incident" is still "ongoing".

Facebook grab
Facebook

Eighteen bodies recovered from Mali hotel attack

Eighteen bodies have been recovered from the hotel attack in Bamako, Mali, a foreign security source told AFP news agency.

It also reports that Mali's security minister has said the gunmen are "no longer holding any hostages".

Who have been rescued so far?

Here are the details on people who have been reported to have escaped the hotel attack so far:

  • Seven Algerians, reports AFP news agency
  • Six Americans, according to AP news agency
  • Five Turkish Airlines personnel, according to AP
  • 12 Air France crew members
  • Two Russians, reports Russian news site Life
  • One Ivorian according to AP
  • Four Chinese, reports China state TV

There were also 20 Indians who were staying at a complex slightly separate from the main building who have all been reported as safe.

The situation is changing very quickly so these figures may be updated very soon.

'Indians safe after Mali siege'

The Indian owner of a hotel near the Radisson Blu in Bamako has told the BBC that he has met the Indians who escaped from the hotel siege.

"The firing has been happening since 7 am local time]. I met the Indians, and they are safe.

"They are fine. They are not injured.

"The place where they were staying in the hotel was slightly off the main part of the complex... and the rebels couldn't reach them.

"We have given them some biscuits. We will take rice and dhal for them.'

'Heavy gunfire on 5th and 7th floors'

Malian journalist Moussa Kondo has told the

BBC's Focus on Africa radio programme that when the attack started this morning there was a lot of confusion as the Radisson Blu Hotel is considered one of the most secure places in Bamako - most foreigners stay there.

It was actually the shots from the security guard at the entrance that alerted guests inside to the attack.

He said that once the Malian security forces, along with UN troops, French and US special forces, had set up a cordon they went inside and started bringing one or two hostages out every 20 minutes or so.

Heavy gunfire has been heard from inside the hotel, where rescuers are moving floor to floor.

A security source told him the gunmen were firing when the security forces reached the fifth and seventh floors.

Most freed hostages are being escorted by the UN civilian protection service from the hotel complex.

They are shocked, some have been crying and most are refusing to talk about their experiences, he said.

Mali troops assist a hostage to leave the scene, from the Radisson Blu hotel to safety after gunmen attacked the hotel in Bamako, Mali, Friday 20 November 2015
AP

In pictures: Mali hotel attack

Solidarity with Malians

Tweet from Mali president's office

The heads of state from the G5 Sahel group - made up of Mali, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania - who are meeting in Chad's capital N'Djamena have expressed their condolences and solidarity with the people of Mali:  

twitter: https://twitter.com/PresidenceMali/status/667707188568281088

In a second tweet the heads of state "vigorously condemn" the hostage taking:

twitter: https://twitter.com/PresidenceMali/status/667712002517819392

Mali's president said he would cut short his visit to Chad because of the hostage situation.

Six US hostages freed

At least six Americans have been freed from the hotel attacked in Bamako a US military spokesman told AFP press agency.

North African jihadist group claims responsibility for hotel attack

The Reuters news agency is reporting that the jihadist group al-Murabitoun has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali's capital, Bamako.

It made the announcement on its Twitter account, Reuters says, but the claim could not be verified.

Al-Murabitoun is made up of two groups which broke away from a North African branch of al-Qaeda.

Pictures of rescue mission

Some more photo are coming in of those behind the ongoing rescue mission at the Radisson Blu:

Armed foreign security personnel and a Malian policeman discussing the hostage situation outside of the Radisson Blu luxury Hotel in Bamako, Mali, 20 November 2015
EPA
In this TV image taken from Mali TV ORTM, a security officer gives instructions to other security forces inside the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali,
Mali TV ORTM/AP
Video grabbed image showing armed military personnel secure the outside of the Radisson Blu luxury Hotel, during a hostage taking situation in Bamako, Mali, 20 November 2015.
EPA