In 2013, a French-led military intervention drove extremists from northern towns and cities in the African country of Mali, but clearly, those extremists have not been “degraded” either.
Fox News reports “Gunmen who have taken more than 100 hostages after storming the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital Friday morning while shouting “Allahu Akbar” reportedly are forcing their captives to recite verses from the Koran or face death.”
The hotel’s website posted this statement:
WE ARE CLOSELY FOLLOWING THE HOSTAGE-TAKING INCIDENT THAT IS TAKING PLACE AT THE RADISSON BLU HOTEL, BAMAKO / MALI TODAY, 20TH NOVEMBER 2015. ACCORDING TO OUR LATEST INFORMATION 124 GUESTS AND 13 EMPLOYEES ARE STILL IN THE BUILDING. 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.
“Malian army commander Modibo Nama Traore told The Associated Press that at least one guest earlier reported that the attackers instructed him to recite verses from the Koran before he was allowed to leave the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital, Bamako.
Traore said 10 gunmen had stormed the hotel shouting “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great,” in Arabic before firing on the guards. A staffer at the hotel who gave his name as Tamba Diarra said over the phone that the attackers used grenades in the assault.
The Brussels-based Rezidor Hotel group that operates the hotel said the assailants had “locked in” 140 guests and 30 employees.
It was not immediately clear which Muslim extremist groups might be behind the attack, which unfolded one week after the attacks on Paris that killed 129 people.”
But does it really matter which one, since they all seem to be using the same playbook?
“The Associated Press that at least 30 hostages had been freed already and that Malian security forces were trying to make contact with the assailants.
French President Francois Hollande said France is ready to help Mali with all means necessary in the wake of the attack and urged French citizens in Mali to make contact with the French Embassy there “in order that everything is made to offer them protection.”
Meanwhile, France’s national gendarme service says about 50 elite police troops are en route from Paris to Bamako.”
We pray this situation is quickly resolved — but as we are sadly learning each day, these operations do not end peacefully.