Terror attacks

Rolling updates from Mali hotel attack and investigation into Paris attacks

Aine McMahon Fri, Nov 20
 
LIVE: Terror attacks

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  • 11:28
    What we know from Mali so far . . .

    At least three people have been killed as gunmen throwing grenades seized dozens of hostages at a luxury hotel in the Mali capital.

    The attackers seized about 170 hostages at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, although a Malian army commander later said about 20 hostages had been released.

    It is not immediately clear why the group was freed or how many remain held by the militants.
  • 11:29
    Military commander Modibo Naman Traore said 10 gunmen stormed the hotel shouting “Allahu Akbar” — “God is great” in Arabic — before firing on the guards and taking hostages. Some guests escaped the hotel.

    Monique Kouame Affoue Ekonde, an Ivorian, said she and six other people were escorted out by security forces.
  • 11:37
    US and French military forces are reported to have entered the hotel in Bamako. The troops, who are accompanied by Malian soldiers, are moving room to room and taking guests out of the hotel in the city center, an UN official has said by e-mail.
  • 11:39
  • 11:43
    Mali president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has cut short a trip to a regional summit in Chad and is on his way home.
  • 11:47
    <span><span class='widget-pane-section-facts-description-text'>Bamako, in west Mali, is the capital.<br />It has a population of just under 2 million.  </span></span>
    Bamako, in west Mali, is the capital.
    It has a population of just under 2 million.  
  • 11:48
    Meanwhile, in Belgium, authorities there have released seven people that were detained yesterday, but continued to hold one person suspected of links to the Paris attacks and another linked to stadium bomber Bilal Hadfi but not directly to the Paris assault.
  • 11:50
    The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs has told The Irish Times it is monitoring the situation in Mali. "We have not received any request for consular assistance in this case and there is no suggestion of any Irish affected. For some time our travel advice has advised citizens not to travel to Mali. Anyone with concerns should contact Department on 01- 4082527."
  • 11:54
    Malaysia have deployed extraordinary security measures around Kuala Lumpur today as world leaders arrived for a pair of weekend summits amid fresh attacks by Islamist militants.

    Malaysia's police chief cited unconfirmed reports of an "imminent terrorist threat" in the country. Some 4,500 soldiers are deployed or on standby to secure the summit, in addition to thousands of police who have fanned out around the Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

    The leaders of 18 countries, including US President Barack Obama, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang are attending the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting followed by the East Asia Summit.
  • 11:57
    PARIS: The body of a woman found in the debris after the police raid on a building in the suburb of St Denis outside Paris has been identified as Hasna Aitboulahcen, the Paris' prosecutor has said.

    Her body was one of three found at the scene after police fought a gunbattle on Wednesday, where the alleged mastermind of last week's Paris attacks was holed up and eventually killed.
  • 11:59
  • 12:03
    MALI: More reports coming in that say Special Forces are clearing the Radisson hotel floor by floor, with sporadic gunfire heard.
  • 12:04
    MALI: The Brussels-based Rezidor Hotel group that operates the hotel has said the assailants initially “locked in” 140 guests and 30 employees.
  • 12:05
    Air France has cancelled its flight 3852 from Paris to Bamako.
  • 12:11
    MALI: France’s national security service has said about 50 elite police troops are en route from Paris to Bamako. A spokesman for the service said they are heading from two different units of special police forces trained for emergency situations.
  • 12:15
  • 12:18
    MALI: Air France say they had 12 crew in the Bamako hotel, but they have been extracted and are safe and sound.
  • 12:18
    MALI: President Francois Hollande has said France is ready to help Mali with all means necessary. He has urged all French citizens in Mali to make contact with the French embassy “in order that everything is made to offer them protection”.
  • 12:19
    MALI: In Belgium, foreign minister Didier Reynders has said there were four Belgians registered at the hotel but it is unclear if they were taken hostage. Mr Reynders also said there are “15 hostages who have been freed after an intervention” but did not provide more details.
  • 12:20

  • 12:29
    MALI: Taoiseach Enda Kenny said there was no proposal for Ireland to send troops to Mali “or indeed anywhere else”.

    Speaking at the Global Irish Economic Forum at Dublin Castle, Mr Kenny said there has been no formal request for assistance from Mali or from France.

    “Any request that comes before the Minister for Foreign Affairs would be considered by Government. But clearly there are restrictions upon the kind of assistance that Ireland might be able to give, becacause of our neutrality.”
  • 12:36
    MALI: What we know (and what we think we know) is happening . . .

    Malian special forces have stormed a luxury hotel in Bamako after Islamist gunmen took 170 people including many foreigners hostage in the capital of the former French colony, which has been battling rebels allied to al Qaeda for several years.

    "They've penetrated inside the hotel. The operations are under way," a police source has said. State television said 80 hostages had been freed but the French newspaper Le Monde quoted the Malian security ministry as saying at least three people had been killed in the initial attack. A witness outside the hotel said gunfire could be heard from time to time. A senior security source said the gunmen had burst into Radisson Blu hotel at 7am firing and shouting "Allahu Akbar", or "God is great" in Arabic, and begun working their way through the building, room by room and floor by floor.

    Some hostages escaped under their own steam while others were freed after showing they could recite verses from the Koran, one security source said.
  • 12:43
    MALI: A hostage freed from the hotel has said he heard the attackers speaking English.

    French is the official language in Mali, though Bambara is the most widely spoken.
  • 12:48
    MALI: Turkish PM Davutoglu has said five Turkish Airlines crew have been rescured from the hotel. Turkish authorities are in contact with two others.
  • 12:56
    PARIS: Moroccan authorities last month arrested Yassine Abaaoud, a younger brother of the suspected Islamic State mastermind of the Paris attacks after he arrived in his father's hometown of Agadir, a Moroccan security source said today.

    Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Belgian militant of Moroccan origin, 28, is believed to have orchestrated last week's coordinated bombings and shootings that killed 129 people. He was among those later killed in a police raid in a Paris suburb.

    Yassine was arrested last month after his plane landed in Agadir and has been held in custody since, a Moroccan security source, who declined to be named, told Reuters. "He has been held for about one month now," the source said.

    It was unclear if Abdelhamid's younger brother has ties with his militant cell in Europe. The source declined to give further details on the arrest.
  • 13:04
    PRAGUE: Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has criticised the country's president for supporting anti-Islamic groups and spreading hatred in an unusually sharp rebuke of the head of state in a newspaper interview published today.

    President Milos Zeman, (71), frequently expresses anti-Islamic views and has opposed allowing immigrants from the war-torn Middle East into Europe, drawing criticism last month from a top UN human rights official. At a rally on Tuesday held by group called "We don't want Islam in the Czech Republic" Zeman praised the up to 2,000 people who attended for independent thinking and he lashed out against what he said was a pro-immigration media massage. "The highest representative of the country, the president of the Czech Republic, which has deep humanistic and democratic tradition, should not in my opinion speak at a gathering of a xenophobic sect which was filled with spreading intensive hatred," Sobotka told daily Hospodarske Noviny. "I believe he caught many people in our country off guard in a very unpleasant way."
  • 13:05
  • 13:07
    IRAQ: US military has just announced it (and its Allies) have conducted 20 strikes in Iraq against Islamic State.
  • 13:09
  • 13:12
    A message among candles in tribute to victims near the Bataclan concert hall, one of the sites of the deadly attacks in Paris this day last week.

    It reads: " I am a Muslim who is against terrorism."
  • 13:14
  • 13:16
    PARIS: The European Union has agreed to “considerably strengthen” means for the 28 nations to co-operate to combat violent extremism, officials said.

    Luxembourg justice minister Etienne Schneider, who chaired an emergency meeting, said quick and strengthened action “is not an option but an obligation”. He said EU nations assigned the EU Commission to look at changes in the Schengen border system to make sure loopholes are closed.

    The meeting came after France called on its EU partners to take immediate and decisive action to toughen the bloc’s borders and prevent the entry of more extremists. “We can’t take more time. This is urgent,” interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.
  • 13:23
    Time for a "what we know" check.

    - At 7am this morning gunmen entered the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali. There are conflicting reports as to the number of gunmen - the highest number reported so far is 10.

    - The attackers initially seized about 170 hostages, but about 20 were released and got away very quickly.

    - One guest reports the attackers instructed him to recite verses from the Koran before he was allowed to leave the hotel.

    - Malian special forces enter the luxury hotel and begin freeing hostages “floor by floor”, according to a military spokesman.

    - Malian state TV say 80 people who were in the hotel in Bamako when the assault began have been freed, and troops are continuing their operation to end the stand-off.

    - At least three people were killed as the gunmen were reported firing weapons and throwing grenades.

    - France’s national security service say about 50 elite police troops are en route from Paris to Bamako.

    - It's unclear as to the nationalities of those in the hotel, but there are reports of French, Belgian, Chinese, Turkish and others present.
  • 13:29
    BRUSSELS: EU countries have agreed plans for an airline passenger name registry, a clampdown on arms trafficking and tougher controls at external borders, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has said this afternoon.

    Speaking at a meeting with his European counterparts in Brussels, Cazeneuve said that France had won backing on the three points Paris eagerly wanted to be addressed. "We have taken strong, operational decisions with results that have to come about before the end of the year," Cazeneuve said.
  • 13:31
    PARIS: A neighborhood in Sens, a city 120km southeast of Paris, will be under night curfew all weekend as France enters a second week of emergency security measures. Champs-Plaisants, a neighborhood of Sens, will face a curfew barring anyone from taking to the street for three consecutive nights between 10pm and 6am, local authorities said in a statement this afternoon. Police and special intervention forces conducted several searches in Sens' county last night.
  • 13:32
    PARIS: French authorities said police had conducted 793 raids since last week’s attacks. Last night alone, police performed 182 raids, detaining 17 people and seizing 76 weapons plus drugs.

    After five nights of raids, the interior ministry said police had detained 90 people and seized 174 weapons, including 18 military-style firearms, 84 rifles and 68 handguns.

    In addition, 164 people have been placed under house arrest with new powers permitted under France’s state of emergency. Police also seized 250,000 euros. The Senate is expected to vote later to extend the state of emergency for three more months.
  • 13:32
  • 13:35
    MALI: Reports coming in that the gunmen have barricaded themselves with hostages on the seventh floor of the hotel.

    Troops from Mali, France and the US are still moving room to room to take guests and staff out of the hotel.
  • 13:44
    MALI: Some 124 guests and 12 employees remain inside the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali's capital hours after suspected Islamist gunmen attacked the building and took 170 people hostage, the company said in a statement.

    A statement read: "Our highest concern is the safety of all our guests and employees in the hotel. We are in constant contact with the authorities there and will share further information with you when we have it."
  • 13:47
  • 13:48
    MALI: CNN are reporting that US Special Forces are assisting in rescue efforts at the hotel.
  • 13:54
  • 13:56
    SYRIA: Turkey has summoned Russia's ambassador in protest over the "intensive" bombing of Turkmen villages in northern Syria by Russian warplanes, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said.

    In the meeting with the ambassador, Andrei Karlov, Turkey called for an immediate end to the Russian military operation, which is near the Turkish border, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

    "It was stressed that the Russian side's actions were not a fight against terror, but they bombed civilian Turkmen villages and this could lead to serious consequences," the foreign ministry said.
  • 13:59
    MALAYSIA: US President Barack Obama has said summit meetings among world leaders this weekend in Kuala Lumpur will focus on the global fight against Islamic State militancy and on the disputed South China Sea.

    Speaking after meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Obama said: "Malaysia is part of the coalition to fight (Islamic State) and can be extraordinarily helpful on issues like countering the destructive and perverse narrative that's developed."
  • 14:05
    IRAQ: Two more roadside bombs have exploded in commercial areas of south-east Baghdad, killing five people and wounding nine. Hospital officials have confirmed the casualties.

    In the Shiite holy city of Karbala, the representative of Iraq’s most influential Shiite cleric called for unity in the fight against Islamic State and condemned recent attacks abroad claimed by the group.
  • 14:09
    MALI: More reports of heavy gunfire being heard from inside the hotel as soldiers advance to free hostages held by Islamist fighters barricaded in on the building's seventh floor.

    "Security forces are operating inside and are clearing each floor bit by bit and freeing hostages who are in their rooms," a security source said. "There are dozens, even around a hundred, still inside."
  • 14:14
  • 14:17
    <p>SYRIA: Russian and Syrian warplanes have launched dozens of air strikes on Islamic State-held areas of eastern Syria today, after the group's fighters launched an assault on an air base near the city of Deir al-Zor, a monitoring group said.</p>
<p>In at least 50 bombing raids, towns across Deir al-Zor province, including near the Iraqi border, were hit and dozens of vehicles and fuel oil tankers were destroyed, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.</p>

    SYRIA: Russian and Syrian warplanes have launched dozens of air strikes on Islamic State-held areas of eastern Syria today, after the group's fighters launched an assault on an air base near the city of Deir al-Zor, a monitoring group said.

    In at least 50 bombing raids, towns across Deir al-Zor province, including near the Iraqi border, were hit and dozens of vehicles and fuel oil tankers were destroyed, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

  • 14:18
  • 14:30
    PARIS: French artists and cultural figures are calling for people to mark a week since the start of the Paris attacks with an outpouring of “noise and light”. The call is going out on social media under the Twitter hashtag 21h20 — or 9.20pm, the time the attacks began on November 13th.

    A letter in the Huffington Post is signed by dozens of artists, writers, musicians and other cultural figures, including singer Charles Aznavour, journalist Anne Sinclair and former French culture minister Jack Lang. It says the attack on “culture and freedom” should unite people of all races, faiths and backgrounds.

    The letter calls for people to turn on lights, light candles and play music so the attackers “will understand that they have lost”. The writers hope the gesture will show “that culture will continue to shine out and to burnish the light of hope and fraternity”.
  • 14:31
    BELGIUM: Belgian authorities are continuing to hold two of the nine people detained on Thursday in a series of raids in Brussels related to the Paris attacks.

    Police detained seven people as part of an investigation opened at the start of the year into the departure to Syria of Belgium-based Bilal Hadfi. Hadfi blew himself up near the Stade de France last Friday. Six were released after questioning, the seventh is being provisionally held for a further 24 hours.
  • 14:32
  • 14:34
    RUSSIA: The Russian news agency TASS is reporting that Putin has urged the country's military not to decrease tempo of Syrian operation.
  • 14:35
    MALI: French Special Forces reported to have reached the hotel.
  • 14:41
    MALI: A spokesman for the US Africa Command has said American military forces stationed in Mali are helping to secure the scene of the attack. Colonel Mark R Cheadle said American military personnel “have helped move civilians to secure locations as Malian forces work to clear the hotel of hostile gunmen”.

    US State Department spokesman John Kirby said Americans “might be present at the hotel”, and that the US embassy in Bamako is working to verify this.
  • 14:49
    MALI: In a Twitter posting, supporters of an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group has claimed responsibility for the attack on the hotel.
  • 14:50
    RUSSIA: Moscow's military campaign in Syria to date has not achieved enough and a next phase is needed, Russian news agencies quoted President Vladimir Putin as saying this afternoon.

    "Our objectives are being fulfilled, and fulfilled well," the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Putin as saying during a video conference with military officials. "But for now that is not enough to cleanse Syria of rebels and terrorists and to protect Russians from possible terrorist attacks. We face a lot of work and I hope that the next phases will be conducted at the same high level, as professionally, and will produce the result we expect."
  • 14:52
    SYRIA: The Russian Defence Minister has said its Caspian fleet ships have launched 18 cruise missiles on "terrorist positions" in Syria.
  • 14:57
    MALI: An African Jihadist group affiliated with al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attack and ongoing hostage-taking at a business hotel in Bamako.

    Al-Mourabitoun, a group based in northern Mali and made up mostly of Tuaregs and Arabs, posted a message on Twitter saying it was behind the attack on the Radisson Blu hotel, where hostages are still being held.

    Reuters said the claim could not immediately be verified.
  • 14:57
  • 15:02
  • 15:03
    MALI: What we know . . .

    - At 7am up to 10 gunmen entered the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali.

    - The attackers initially seized about 170 hostages, but about some are released and/or manage to escape.

    - One guest reports the attackers instructed him to recite verses from the Koran before he allowing him to leave the hotel.

    - At least three people are killed as the gunmen fire weapons and throw grenades.

    - Special forces enter the luxury hotel and begin freeing hostages “floor by floor”, according to a military spokesman.

    - The gunmen reportedly barricade themselves in on the seventh floor.

    - It is no known how many guests and staff are still in the hotel, but reports suggest the number may be more than 100.

    - An African Jihadist group - Al-Mourabitoun - affiliated with al Qaeda claim responsibility for the attack and ongoing hostage-taking.
  • 15:07
    PARIS: Military officials in France have said today that requests for information about joining the French army have surged following last Friday's attacks.

    Colonel Herve Chene, head of airforce recruitment, said the numbers visiting his unit's hiring centres had tripled since a week ago.

    Clicks on his unit's recruitment website had shot up too. "Under normal circumstances, our website gets 2,000 visits per day. Now we have over 20,000," Chene said. "All of the armed forces are seeing increased numbers."

    Commandant Reynald Tambour at Paris's airforce recruitment centre said inquiries about joining had risen from five or six a day normally to more than 20 in the last few days.
  • 15:11

    MALI: Unfortunately, the country is no stranger to hostage situations.

    This is a report on one just 3 months ago that left 12 people dead.

     

  • 15:22
    SYRIA: The Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has said more than 600 rebels had been eliminated as a result of a cruise missile strike a target in Syrian Deir ez-Zour province, RIA news agency quoted him as saying.

    It was not clear when this missile strike was done.

    Shoigu added that Russia had doubled the number of air crafts in its Syria operation to 69 planes.

    In a separate statement, Russia's Foreign Ministry said that its head Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry had a phone talk and discussed the need for joint efforts to combat Islamic State In Syria and the need for talks between Damascus and opposition.
  • 15:23
    MALI: A US presidential envoy to the coalition battling Islamic State has said it 's too soon to speculate whether the hostage situation in Mali is related in some way to the attacks in Paris last week.

    "It is too really to soon to speculate" on whether the attacks may be related, Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk told MSNBC. "The groups in Mali aren't particularly connected to the ISIS groups," he added.
  • 15:29
    MALI: A little about the group that's claiming responsibility for the ongoing attack. . .

    - Al-Mourabitoun was formed around two years ago and based in the Sahara Desert, is headed by former al Qaeda fighter Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

    - It has claimed responsibility for the death of five people last March in an attack on a restaurant in Bamako.

    - It also claimed it planned a suicide attack on a group of UN peacekeepers in northern Mali in April in which at least three people died and an attack on a hotel in Sevare in central Mali in August in which 17 people were killed.
  • 15:34
  • 15:36
  • 15:40
    IRELAND: Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has reiterated that Ireland needs a legally binding protocol on neutrality. Speaking ahead of the AGM of the Peace & Neutrality Alliance (PANA) in Dublin this Saturday, which Ms Boylan will chair, she said: "An Taoiseach Enda Kenny indicated yesterday that the Irish Government is prepared to send a small number of Defence Force personnel to Mali or Lebanon to relieve their French counterparts, freeing them up to participate in conflict elsewhere.

    "An Taoiseach made this announcement in the wake of an EU wide meeting of defence ministers, where the French Minister of Defence Jean Yves Le Drian received unanimous support for the use of the Mutual Defence Clause of the Lisbon Treaty. A clause which Sinn Féin consistently argued undermined our neutrality.



    "Irish neutrality is being systematically eroded by current and previous Governments. Irish participation and financial support for the European Defence Agency, our involvement in the Rapid Reaction Force and the continued use of Shannon airport by US warplanes involved in several conflicts combine to show that Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil have at best, a flippant attitude to neutrality.



    "The suggestion that Irish soldiers may be sent to Mali to relieve French soldiers is indirectly involving the state in conflict and is the most recent example of an undermining of our position of neutrality."

  • 15:41
  • 15:43
  • 15:46
    SYRIA: The Kremlin says there has been no discussion about a Russian ground operation in Syria.
  • 15:52
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<td class='borderb' width='50%' align='left'>Some photographs from Mali: An injured man is carried from the Radisson Hotel during the hostage situation in Bamako</td>
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    Some photographs from Mali: An injured man is carried from the Radisson Hotel during the hostage situation in Bamako
  • 15:52
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<td class='borderb' width='50%' align='left'>Malian security forces evacuate a man from an area surrounding the Radisson Blu hotel</td>
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    Malian security forces evacuate a man from an area surrounding the Radisson Blu hotel
  • 15:53
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<td class='borderb' width='50%' align='left'>A video grabbed image showing Malian policemen guarding in front of the Radisson Blu luxury Hotel, during the hostage-taking situation in Bamako</td>
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    A video grabbed image showing Malian policemen guarding in front of the Radisson Blu luxury Hotel, during the hostage-taking situation in Bamako
  • 15:55
    GERMANY: The top prosecutor in Germany is investigating whether an Algerian man detained at a refugee centre last week knew in advance about the Paris attacks but failed to tell the authorities, officials have said.

    Staff were looking into allegations the man told Syrian refugees in the western town of Arnsberg that fear and terror would be spread in the French capital, the federal public prosecutor's office said.

    "We've taken the lead in the investigation ... Further investigation will show if the accusations are really true," a spokesman for the federal prosecutor added. Local prosecutors initially looked into the alleged comments. The decision by the federal public prosecutor to take the lead could suggest that authorities are taking the accusations more seriously.

    The interior minister for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where Arnsberg is located, said on Thursday that the suspect was still in custody and refusing to talk. "The accused is not cooperative," Ralf Jaeger said.

    The German government has increased security measures since the attacks in Paris on Friday last week.
  • 15:59
  • 16:02
    All remaining hostages at the Malian siege where at least three people died are now safe and out of the Radisson Blu in Bamako where they had been held, ministerial adviser Amadou Sangho told French television station BFMTV. "These people have been taken under the wing of the civil authorities," he said.

    He added the operation was undertaken "uniquely" by Malian forces.
  • 16:06
    YEMEN: Two apparent Islamic State attacks have killed at least 15 people and wounded 30 in Yemen’s largest province.

    The synchronized attacks targeted checkpoints manned by security forces loyal to Yemen’s internationally recognised government in the cities of Shibam and al-Qatn, both in Hadramawt province.

    A car bomb detonated amid the fighting in Shibam, according to video shot by a local resident that corresponded to other reporting about the assault. The security officials provided the casualty figures. A claim for the attack circulated online by Islamic State supporters offered a higher death toll of 50 killed.
  • 16:09
    MALI: UN peacekeepers on scene at the Mali hotel reporting they've seen 27 bodies.
  • 16:18
  • 16:19
    SYRIA: Russia's air force flew 394 sorties and hit 731 targets in Syria in the last three days, Interfax news agency cited the head of the Russian air group in Syria as saying today.

    He said the Russian military air fleet in Syria was reinforced by 8 Su-34 bombers and a unit of Sy-27SM3 jet fighters, according to the report.
  • 16:23
  • 16:27
    The hostage situation at the hotel is over.
  • 16:32
    MALI: So we know that at least 27 people have been killed after Malian commandos stormed the luxury hotel in the Bamako.

    The hotel had been seized by gunmen this morning - with at least 170 people inside, many of them foreigners.

    The former French colony has been battling Islamist rebels for several years, and the jihadist group Al Mourabitoun, allied to al Qaeda and based in the deserts of northern Mali, claimed responsibility for the attack in a tweet.
  • 16:33
  • 16:36
    MALI: Police reported to be moving in and out of the hotel, escorting civilians, some of them wounded.

    The Interior Security Minister Colonel Salif Traore, speaking on state-run television, has said 76 people were freed by security forces.
  • 16:38
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<td class='borderb' width='50%' align='left'>An injured rescued hostage is carried from the Radisson Hotel by security forces.</td>
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    An injured rescued hostage is carried from the Radisson Hotel by security forces.
  • 16:40
    MALI: Al-Jazeera has carried a recorded statement by an extremist group that has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    The group, led by Moktar Belmoktar, said it wanted fighters freed from Mali’s prisons and for attacks against northern Malians to stop. The jihadist group, known as the Mourabitounes, was formed in 2013 after Belmoktar left al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and fused with a Malian militant group.

    The statement said the Mourabitounes attacked in co-ordination with the “Sahara Emirate” affiliated with al Qaida.
  • 16:45
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<td class='borderb' width='50%' align='left'>An Italian army soldier patrols in front of Rome's Colosseum today. Authorities in charge of Rome's Colosseum will install metal detectors at the entrance to the almost 2,000 year-old amphitheatre as cities across Europe tighten security.</td>
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    An Italian army soldier patrols in front of Rome's Colosseum today. Authorities in charge of Rome's Colosseum will install metal detectors at the entrance to the almost 2,000 year-old amphitheatre as cities across Europe tighten security.
  • 16:47
    MALI: The Pentagon has said 22 US Defense Department military and civilian employees were accounted for after the attack on the luxury hotel in Bamako. There were no injuries reported among those personnel, it said.
  • 16:50
    MALI: Security Ministry spokesman has said Special Forces are still trying to dislodge some of the gunmen from upper floors of the hotel.
  • 16:51
  • 16:56
    FRANCE: President Francois Hollande has thanked the King of Morocco for the "effective help" the north African state had given France after the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.

    Moroccan and French sources have said that Rabat had given vital information that led to locating Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected Islamic State coordinator of the last week's attacks, to a flat in the Parisian suburbs.

    "The president thanked the King of Morocco for the efficient help given by Morocco following Friday's attacks," a French presidency statement said after the two met in Paris.
  • 17:04
    EUROPE: Interpol chief Juergen Stock said “every additional record made available across borders builds a new opportunity for Europe” to combat foreign fighters.

    Interpol says its foreign fighter database has details from more than 50 countries on about 6,000 people.
  • 17:08
  • 17:11
    MALI: We know that UN peacekeepers have already confirmed they have seen 27 bodies so far at the scene, but the national broadcaster ORTM, citing security officials, have said 18 bodies have been found at the hotel and that no more hostages are being held.

    A source with Mali’s UN mission said at least 12 bodies had been recovered. It is not immediately clear whether any attackers are still alive inside the hotel.
  • 17:11
  • 17:13
    USA: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has drawn rebukes from two White House rivals today for saying he would implement a database to keep track of Muslims in the United States and require them to register in response to the attacks in Paris.

    Trump, interviewed by NBC News after a campaign appearance in Iowa on Thursday night, was asked if there should be a database to monitor Muslims in the United States. "I would certainly implement that, absolutely," he said.

    Asked how that differed from efforts last century to track Jews in Nazi Germany, and said: "You tell me."

    Two Republican presidential rivals, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Ohio Governor John Kasich, criticized Trump's Muslim database proposal. "That's just wrong," Bush said on CNBC this evening. "It's manipulating people's angst and their fears," he said. "That's not strength. That's weakness."

    Kasich, whose Super PAC is launching a $2.5 million series of attacks against Trump, said the proposal proved the real estate mogul was not worthy of the White House.
  • 17:16
    SYRIA: Russian ground crew are inscribing the words "For Paris" on some bombs destined to be dropped on targets in Syria.

    A video posted online by the Defence Ministry  also shows a serviceman writing "For Our Guys" on a bomb at Russia's Hmeymim airbase. "Pilots and technicians of Hmeymim airbase have sent their message to terrorists by priority airmail," said a caption accompanying the post.  
  • 17:29
  • 17:29
  • 17:44

    MALI: U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday condemned an attack on a luxury hotel in Mali's capital, where U.N. peacekeepers saw more than two dozen bodies. "The secretary-general condemns the horrific terrorist attacks at the Radisson Hotel in Bamako, which killed an unknown number of civilians and injured many more," U.N spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

  • 17:52

    MALI: Islamist militant group al Mourabitoun said it was jointly responsible with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) for a hotel attack in Mali's capital on Friday in which at least 27 people died, Mauritania's Alakhbar news agency said.


    Al Mourabitoun is led by veteran Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who was reported killed in a U.S. air strike in June. AQIM later denied he had been killed. (Reuters)  

  • 17:53
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  • 18:06
  • 18:19

    PARIS:  France’s Senate has voted to extend a state of emergency for three months after last week’s deadly attacks. The state of emergency expands police powers to carry out arrests and searches and allows authorities to forbid the movement of persons and vehicles at specific times and places.


    France’s lower chamber has already approved the measure. The vote in the Senate took place exactly one week after extremists attacked a concert hall, the stadium and several cafes and restaurants in Paris, killing 130 people and wounding hundreds. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

  • 18:28


  • 18:35

    SYRIA: Russia has given the United States advance notice before it conducts air strikes in Syria at least three times since last week's attacks in Paris, a U.S  official said on Friday. The notices included one given prior to Russian strikes on Syria on Tuesday, which a U.S defense official had already acknowledged.


    The two countries struck an agreement on air safety protocols in October. U.S defense officials have ruled out cooperation or coordination of targets with Russia.  

  • 18:50

    MALI: A total of 27 people have been killed in an attack on the Radisson hotel in Mali’s capital, a UN official has said.


    The official said 12 bodies were found in the basement of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, with another 15 bodies discovered on the second floor.


    It is not immediately clear if the figure of 27 also includes any attackers involved in the incident. The official stressed that the building has yet to be totally cleared, and operations are ongoing.


    Another UN official, UN Mali mission spokesman Olivier Salgado, said two “extremists” had been killed. He added that forces are going from room-to-room, checking for more casualties.

  • 18:58

    Our Live Blog ends now but keep following irishtimes.com for more updates on the Mali hotel attack.  

     


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