Mali hotel attack: Gunmen take 170 hostages in Bamako amid reports of 'five dead' in shootout

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Baku, November 20, AZERTAC

Almost 200 people are being held hostage in a hotel in Mali's capital after armed gunmen stormed a Raddison Blu hotel in Mali, according to Independent.

The unidentified men attacked the hotel in the country's capital of Bamako at around 8am on Friday, with some reports claiming grenades as well as automatic weapons were used in the initial assault.

"They have locked in about 140 guests and about 30 employees," a spokesperson for the hotel, owned by the Carlson Rezidor group, told NBC. "So the hotel is locked down and there is no possibility to go out or come in."

Local news reports claim the gunmen arrived at the hotel in a vehicle with a diplomatic pass. There have also been reports as many as five people were killed, while nearby residents have reported hearing on-going gunfire and explosions.

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