Gunmen assaulted the luxury Rodisson Blu Hotel in Mali’s capital Bamako earlier this morning. Reportedly, the commando arrived at the hotel in a doplomatic corps’ car and entered the hotel shooting the arabic formula to praise God “Allahu Akbar”.
According to reports, ten jihadists – allegedly Al-Qaeda’s affiliates – locked in 140 guests and 30 employers – the hotel usually hosts expats working in Mali – at the seventh floor of the building, where the ongoing active shooter opertation is still taking place.
Armed police forces have now sourrounded the hotel and they are planning the following crucial steps to deal with the harsh situation.
Mali requested French help – France is its former colonial power – in January 2013, when islamist forces linked to Al-Qaeda which had already seize control of the North together with rebel Ethnic Tuaregs captured a central town increasingly menacing Bamako.
Consequently, the United Nations took over responsability for securing the North in July 2013, but attacks continued to be carried out by Islamist and Tuareg group throughout the country. Last assault had taken place in August when suspected Islamist gunman murdered 13 people – even UN workers – in the city of Sevare in similar conditions.
It’s likely that the Islamist assaulters of the Rodisson Blu Hotel are directly linked to the Al-Qaeda’s group in the region, but information is continuing to flow as operations keep on.