Gunmen stormed a Radisson Blu hotel on Friday morning in Bamako, the capital of the West African nation of Mali, seizing scores of hostages and leaving bodies strewn across parts of the building.
A senior United Nations official said that as many as 29 people had been killed so far, with bodies found in the basement and on the second floor.
An unknown number of gunmen, perhaps four or five, took “about 100 hostages” at the beginning of the siege, said Gen. Didier Dacko of the Malian Army. He said soldiers had sealed the perimeter and were now “inside looking for the terrorists.”
Several dozen hostages, many of them crying – including women, children and older people — had begun streaming out of the hotel after hiding in their rooms, said Amadou Sidibé, a local reporter at the scene.
A hostage, second from left, was evacuated to safety from the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali, on Friday. Credit Harouna Traore/Associated Press