Malian security forces were hunting “more than three” suspects on Saturday after a brazen assault on the Radisson Blu hotel in the capital that killed 20 people, most of them guests, officials said.
Speaking to reporters briefly after visiting the scene, Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said the attack underscored the global threat posed by Islamic extremists, especially coming just one week after teams of attackers in Paris killed 130 people while targeting a stadium, a concert hall and cafes and restaurants.
“These people have attacked Paris and other places. Nowhere is excluded,” Keita said, adding that Mali would still remain open to the world. “Mali is not a closed area and it never will be.”
Malians awoke to a state of emergency after Friday’s attack in Bamako that was claimed by an extremist group formed by notorious Algerian militant Moktar Belmoktar. The statement from the Al-Mourabitoun (The Sentinels) group said the assault was in cooperation with al-Qaida’s “Sahara Emirate.”