Mali manhunt for ’several’ accomplices in luxury hotel siege; hostage takers included a teenager

Attack on prestigious Radisson hotel frequented by foreigners for its perceived security claimed 22 lives.

MALI investigators said they are searching for several people who aided at least two gunmen, one a teenager and the other about 22 years old, who took 170 hostages at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the capital of Bamako.

“Investigators from state security among others are looking after several suspected accomplices,” Modibo Nama Traoré, an officer at the Mali presidency, said by phone Sunday. 

“They are focusing in the capital on where the two attackers spent the night before to launch the attack. As a result, we want to know who hosted them.”

As many as 170 people were in the hotel when gunmen burst into the lobby Friday morning spraying gunfire. Hours later, troops stormed the building and moved room to room to evacuate guests. 

Al-Qaeda in Maghreb and the militant Mourabitoune group claimed joint responsibility for Friday’s attack, in which 22 people died.

The victims included six Russians, three Chinese, two Belgians, an American, an Israeli, a Senegalese and a member of the Malian special forces.

Security officials who have said they were searching for three people immediately, after the assault on Sunday said two were dead.

Friday’s drama follows another hotel siege in August in the central Mali town of Sevare in which five UN workers and four soldiers were killed.

Five people were also killed in an assault on a Bamako restaurant in March.

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