Update, 11:13 a.m. EST: Multiple reports say the hostage situation is over. At least 27 people are reported dead.
#BREAKING: Mali hotel gunmen ‘holding no more hostages’: security minister
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) November 20, 2015
At least three people are dead after gunmen—reportedly shouting “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great”—seized control on Friday of a Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali, where 170 people were taken hostage.
Security forces launched a counterassault mission, reportedly freeing 80 out of the initial 170 hostages as of this time.
The Times reports that the gunmen are also releasing Muslims but continuing to hold non-Muslims inside.
This is the moment #Mali special forces stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in the capital Bamako https://t.co/28gcbodMnc https://t.co/30IqjiS9lm
— ITV News (@itvnews) November 20, 2015
The hostage situation in Mali comes just one week after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris. On Friday, French President Francois Hollande showed his solidarity with the Malian people.
“With the means we have in the area, we will do what is possible to obtain the freedom of the hostage,” Hollande said. “Once again, terrorists want to mark with their barbaric presence all places where they can kill or massacre.”