Gunmen have stormed a five-star hotel in Mali, where the richest person in Africa, Aliko Dangote, is among the guests.
According to a report by Al Jazeera, the gunmen attacked Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali’s capital, today, Friday, November 20 and about 170 have been held hostage. The gunmen who shouted “Allahu Akbar” opened fire outside the hotel before storming it.
A business owner, Garba Konate, who spoke to Al Jazeera, the group of attackers showed up about three hours earlier.
“About 10 gunmen arrived early in the morning and shot all the guards in front of the Radisson. I started hearing gunshots coming from the hotel,” said Ibrahim, 28, who works at a cultural centre 40 metres away. Soon after I saw one of the guards running out, injured… The security guard told me the shooters were so quick that he doesn’t even know how many came in,” he told Al Jazeera.
According to CNN, about three people, two Malian and one french, have been reported dead. Idrissa Sangare, a local journalist at the scene, told Al Jazeera UN forces and Malian troops were working together in front of the hotel.
“We don’t know who carried out the attack because the operation is still going on,” Sangare said.
Sangare said UN officials were having a function at the hotel, in which Dangote was there too. The hotel’s owner said it was “aware of the hostage-taking that is ongoing at the property today … As per our information, two persons have locked in 140 guests and 30 employees,” the company said in a statement.