Africa

Mali hotel attack: Police seek info on hotel attack gunmen

  • 23 November 2015
  • From the section Africa
Media captionMali attack survivor

Malian police have appealed for help to identify the two gunmen who carried out Friday's attack on a hotel in the capital, Bamako, in which 22 people were killed.

Pictures of their bodies have been shown on state TV and police have asked for the public's help to identify them.

Malian and international troops stormed the Radisson Blu hotel to free guests and staff being held hostage.

Three different Islamist groups have said they carried out the attack.

Warning: Pictures of the bodies in the state TV appeal, seen lower down in this article, may be upsetting for some readers.

Investigators have yet to determine the number and nationality of the gunmen.

However, Islamist group al-Murabitoun, which first claimed responsibility for the attack, has issued a new audio recording identifying the two gunmen, reports say.

They were named as Abdel Hakim al-Ansari and Moadh al-Ansari.

One security source in Mali earlier told the BBC that officials believed that the two dead gunmen had been speaking English during the attack.

The police found a suitcase with grenades in the hotel lobby and were following up "several leads" linked to "objects" left by the gunmen, a Malian police source has told the AFP news agency.

Ahead of the three days of national mourning declared by Mali, the chairman of the West African regional bloc Ecowas, Senegal's President Macky Sall, visited Bamako to show support.

He said on Sunday: "Mali will never be alone in this fight, we are all committed because we are all involved."

Senegal, Mauritania and Guinea are also observing the mourning, which started on Monday.

Image copyright ORTM Television
Image caption Pictures of the corpses of the two gunmen have been shown on state television to help identify them

The victims

  • Six Malians, including one gendarme, three hotel workers and two others.
  • Six Russians were killed, all employees of the Volga-Dnepr airline, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. Volga-Dnepr reported that the six were Stanislav Dumansky and Pavel Kudryavtsev, mechanics; Vladimir Kudryashov, a flight radio operator; Konstantin Preobrazhensky, a flight engineer; Sergey Yurasov, a load manager, and Aleksandr Kononenko, a navigator.
  • Three Chinese, Zhou Tianxiang and Wang Xuanshang and Chang Xuehui were executives from the state-owned China Railway Construction Corp, the company said in a statement on its website.
  • Two Belgians, including Geoffrey Dieudonne, an official at the parliament in Belgium's Wallonia region.
  • US national Anita Ashok Datar, 41, was in Mali working on projects involving family planning and HIV. Ms Datar, the mother of a seven-year-old boy, was a senior manager at Palladium Group, an international development organisation.
  • Israeli education consultant and executive Shmuel Benalal, who is reported to have been in Mali to work with the government.
  • One Senegalese.
  • One Lebanese, who worked at the hotel.
  • One Burkina Faso national who worked at the hotel

This list has been provided to the BBC by a security source in Mali


Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its affiliate, al-Murabitoun, have both said they were responsible for the attack.

The Macina Liberation Front (MLF) which has been blamed for attacks in southern Mali, has also said its fighters carried it out.

Security remains tight around major hotels in Bamako.

Gunmen entered the hotel on Friday morning, shooting and driving their vehicle through a security barrier, one eyewitness said.

Most of the hotel guests and staff were freed hours later when Malian special forces, French special forces and off-duty US servicemen stormed the hotel to end the siege.


Analysis - Tomi Oladipo, BBC Africa security correspondent

The MLF is a new jihadist group operating in central and southern Mali.

It is led by the radical Muslim cleric Amadou Kouffa, a strong proponent of strict Islamic law in Mali.

His group draws most of its support from the Fulani ethnic group, who are found across the Sahel.

Mr Kouffa is a close ally of Tuareg jihadist Iyad ag Ghali, who leads the powerful jihadist group Ansar Dine.

A Human Rights Watch report said the MLF militants had carried out serious abuses in parts of central Mali since January and killed at least five people they accused of being aligned to the government.

The group has attacked police and military particularly in the Mopti region, most recently killing three soldiers in Tenenkou in August.

The Malian military recently arrested Alaye Bocari, a man they say was a key MLF financier and Mr Kouffa's right-hand man.

Why Mali is an insurgent hotspot

Who are al-Murabitoun?

Mali: World's most dangerous peacekeeping mission

Find out about Mali


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