MALI: Gunmen Take 170 Hostages At Hotel

CNN reports:

Security forces have begun a counter-assault on a Malian hotel where gunmen took more than 100 hostages Friday morning, French President Francois Hollande told reporters in Paris on Friday afternoon. The situation began around 7 a.m. at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali’s capital, Bamako, when two or three attackers stormed the hotel, firing guns and initially taking about 170 people hostage, officials said. At least three deaths were reported. Two armed men initially locked in about 140 guests and 30 employees at the Radisson Blu, hotel officials said. By noon, the country’s state broadcaster, ORTM, reported that at least 80 of the hostages had been freed. The attackers, carrying AK-47s, arrived around 7 a.m. in a vehicle or vehicles with diplomatic plates, said Olivier Saldago, a spokesman for the United Nations mission in Mali.

According to reports, the hotel’s guests typically include flight crews and diplomats. Several embassies, including the US embassy, are nearby. Some hostages were reportedly released after proving they could recite verses from the Koran.

UPDATE: CNN reports that US forces are now involved in the response. An unconfirmed report says that Americans are among the hostages.

VIDEO: An early report from the BBC.

  • Blake Jordan

    If all humans just ceased to exist, would the earth be able to repair all the damage (climate change, etcetera) that humans have done to it?

    • Mark

      Yes.

    • Ginger Snap

      Yes it would. The proof that it will can be seen in the grass that grows on the crack in the pavement.

      • Bj Lincoln

        The fact the grass can crack the hard pavement with it’s soft self proves nature will thrive and turn it all to dust. Less humans and our waste plus more plants/trees to filter the air, homeostasis can return.

      • douglas

        Kind of like this pic in Sendai Japan 4 years after their nuclear plant meltdown

    • DumbHairyApe

      Are you planning something we should know about? I want to make sure I properly dress for the occasion.

      • Blake Jordan

        Nope, just annoyed at evolution (or god if you are delusional) for not stopping before humans.

    • Todd20036

      THis planet is quite resilient. When most people want to save the Earth, what they are really saying is keep it habitable for humans.

      Even a nuclear war wouldn’t destroy all life on Earth. It might take a few centuries, but plant life would return as would animal life, though most birds would be gone.

    • johncAtl

      http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/life_after_p.jpg

      History Channel says the Earth will do quite well without humans.

      • barracks9

        There a good book by Alan Weisman, A World Without Us, that has some terrific explanations of how the world would likely repair itself. The depictions of what happens to Manhattan are astounding – without the pumps running continuously, so much of the subterranean levels to the city would quickly fill in with water and many other things. Fascinating stuff.

        • Bj Lincoln

          I’ll look for that. Thanks.

      • Octavio

        One of my favorite series to vegetate and watch.

    • Wynter Marie Starr

      As our sun will be around for another 4 billion years or so, the planet would do just fine. The largest extinction in the planet’s history occurred because of extreme climate change (heat) and recovered.

    • TreGibbs

      You betcha!

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      Yes, EXCEPT for the TONS ( every day, still ) of nuclear water waste that is leaking from Fukushima. That radioactive crap will take Hundreds of thousands of years to decay. We have NO clue as to the real long term effects.

      Dead Ocean = Dead Earth.

    • TheManicMechanic

      Most certainly, and in less time than you think.

  • bkmn

    I saw one report that said they gained access by driving in to the hotel in a diplomatic vehicle, from which they started firing their weapons.

    • Todd20036

      Then the answer is obvious! No more foreign diplomats in the US.
      Think Trump will say that?

      • Blake Jordan

        Or a reporter will lead him into saying that… no “original” thoughts for that man.

  • Versailles

    A friend works for an NGO there. No news of his whereabouts yet. We think he left for the weekend but no-one can confirm.

    • chrisinphx

      Big hugs and good thoughts.

    • rusty57

      Hoping you have good news from your friend soon.

      • Versailles

        News literally just in that he left Bamako for Niger yesterday. He doesn’t know if his friends that remained there are safe yet.

  • Todd20036

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I completely forgot about this crisis, given what happened in Paris.

    • Jeffrey

      Don’t be embarrassed. There was a time not too long ago when nobody knew what was going on anywhere for days. Now we are bombarded with it 24/7 as it is developing.

  • 🙁

  • SFHarry

    Would Ben Carson rush the attackers? Isn’t that what he suggests when dealing with people with guns?

    • Acronym Jim

      Of course not, he’d just point to the guy next to him and say “I believe this is the hostage you want to take.”

      Trump, on the other hand, would build a wall around the attackers after registering them in a database.

      • Bluto

        & charge it to their credit card.

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    • teeveedub

      He might hit them with a hammer or stab them in the belt buckle.

  • Igby

    I’m sure that it has been mentioned on this blog thingy before, but just Imagine…..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRhq-yO1KN8

  • Octavio

    It’s over.

    Three are dead, one French national and two Malis. Six ‘Merikuhns have been released with the rest of the hostages..

  • Baby Dave

    Let’s give Ben Carson a gun-any gun he requests- and drop him off at the hotel to face off against the hostage takers. By himself.

    If he’s nearly as macho as he likes to imply, he should be fine. If he isn’t, well, one less bullshitter to worry about

    • TKW

      Can we please send in Trump with him. Please!?!?

      • Baby Dave

        Of course. They were probably going to be running mates, anyway

  • Paula

    Unfortunately, I think this will be a repeated situation, do some time. They were emboldened by the Paris attack. I believe they will continue to hit hotels and restaurants. Easy targets.

  • TheTruthHurts

    And the religion of peace strikes again.