Mali hotel siege: Four men rescued after Islamic extremist attack kills 12 people

The men were rescued by Mali's special forces after hiding for nearly 24 hours in a hotel

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The Independent Online

Mali’s special forces rescued four men who had hidden in a hotel for nearly 24 hours after Islamic extremists stormed the building in an attack that left 12 people dead.

The four UN workers – two South Africans, a Russian and a Ukrainian – were pilots and engineers with Minusma, the UN mission in Mali. At least four further foreign nationals are feared dead, and officials said other UN personnel may also be missing.

The armed militants, in a rare attack far from their northern strongholds, stormed the Hotel Byblos in Sevare at around 7am on 7 August. The Malian army cordoned off the area and a rapid response team was sent from Bamako city for the rescue.

A government spokesperson said the total death toll included five soldiers, three hotel staff and at least three militants. Seven suspected militants were detained.

Radhia Achouri, a Minusma spokeswoman, said the gunmen had retreated to the hotel after attacking the Malian army facility just “20 metres from the hotel”.