A terror attack at a luxury hotel in Mali’s capital has left at least 21 people dead, including two militants, and highlighted the world’s growing vulnerability to extremist violence.
A group of heavily armed and seemingly well-trained gunmen stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako.
They drove unchallenged into an inner compound, detonated grenades, opened fire at security guards and then took hostage about 170 people.
The assault began about 7 a.m., when two or three attackers with AK-47 rifles exited at least one vehicle with diplomatic plates and entered the hotel with guns
The attack, came as the hotel hosted diplomatic delegations working on a peace process in the landlocked country, a former French colony that has been battling Islamist extremists with the help of U.N. and French forces.
A military official said the gunmen shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they began the attack. Al-Mourabitoun, an African jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, claimed responsibility in a message posted on Twitter.