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Mali: a state of emergency and national mourning

Mali: a state of emergency and national mourning
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Mali has been placed under a ten-day state of emergency after hundreds were taken hostage at a luxury hotel in its capital city.

At least 20 people died when assailants stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, which is popular with foreign clients.

One US citizen and three Chinese nationals have so far been identified as among those killed.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita also declared a three-day period of national mourning.

How the siege unfolded

170 guests and staff were taken hostage.

Eyewitnesses say the assailants went from floor to floor, releasing anyone who could recite verses of the Koran.

Malian security forces stormed the building after several hours and flushed out the alleged members of Al Mourabitoun.

The al Qaeda-linked group says it was behind the attack.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar and al Mourabitoun

The hotel attack has put militant leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar back in the spotlight, months after he was reported killed.

He is the head of Al Mourabitoun, described by French Defence Minister Jean Yves le Drian as a mixture of fundamentalists and criminals.

He has told media the Algerian-based Belmokhtar was probably behind the attack.

In pictures

Malian security services gather outside the hotel

Hostage takers inside the Radisson Blu

People run for their lives

Victims’ stories begin to be told