Reports indicate that about 10 gunmen arrived at the Radisson Blu hotel on Friday in cars bearing diplomatic plates, before firing on the guards and storming the building with shouts of “Allahu Akbar!” An unidentified security source told Reuters that the gunmen were releasing hostages—some 140 guests from various countries and 30 staff—who could recite verses from the Koran. At least three people have been killed so far.
After Islamist militants seized parts of northern Mali in 2013, France spearheaded what was widely considered a successful counteroffensive, known as Operation Serval. The operation was conducted in coordination with the government of Mali, a former French colony. Just one week ago, terrorists attacked the French capital of Paris, killing 129 people.