UPDATE: 11:10 p.m. EST:  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned Friday’s attack on a Radisson hotel in the Mali capital of Bamako. He expressed his sorrow over the death of American citizen Anita Datar of Maryland, and other lives lost in the attack. 

“We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and injured during this senseless assault on innocent people at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako,” Kerry wrote in a statement. “Our embassy in Bamako is making every effort to account for American citizens in the city, and in the days ahead we stand ready to provide support the Malian government in the investigation. All those responsible for these recurring terrorist attacks must be held accountable.”

Meanwhile, CBS News reported that Datar was previously from New Jersey and had attended Columbia University in New York City. 

UPDATE: 11 p.m. EST -- The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed Saturday that three of its nationals were among the dead in Friday's attack on a Radisson hotel in the Mali capital of Bamako.

The three men reportedly were senior executives of China Railway Construction Corp. The state-owned Chinese company identified the victims as Zhou Tianxiang, general manager for the corporation's international group; Wang Xuanshang, a deputy general manager of the international group; and Chang Xuehui, general manager of the group's West Africa division.

The foreign ministry also reportedly said that four other Chinese citizens had been rescued.

UPDATE, 10:15 p.m. EST: The American citizen who was killed in the Mali terror attack was identified by her family as 41-year-old Anita Datar of Takoma Park, Maryland, the Associated Press reported  Friday evening. Family members said in a statement that she worked for an international development agency, and the Washington Post reported that she had an elementary-school-aged son.

According to Datar's LinkedIn profile, she was a senior manager at Palladium, an international development firm with offices in Washington, D.C. She also served in the Peace Corp in Senegal. "We are devastated that Anita is gone," the family's statement said.

UPDATE 6 p.m. EST: Two militants were killed and all surviving hostages were rescued late Friday afternoon after law enforcement officers stormed a hotel in Mali’s capital, the Globe and Mail reported. At least 27 were killed in the rampage, and around 170 people were trapped in the hotel for hours until being rescued by Malian, U.S. and French forces. Al Mourabitoun, a jihadi group allied to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack. In response to the violence, Mali has declared a 10-day state of emergency, Agence France-Presse reported.

UPDATE 5:35 p.m. EST: A U.S. official told David Martin of CBS News that one American citizen was killed in the Mali attack, according to a tweet.

UPDATE: 4:20 p.m. EST -- A hostage situation on the sixth floor of the Mali hotel that gunmen stormed Friday was still in progress, according to a tweet from a journalist at Globovision, a Spanish-language news outlet.

But an hour earlier the U.S. Department of State tweeted that the incident at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako had finished, while still cautioning all U.S. citizens in the vicinity to be vigilant.


Three Chinese citizens were killed in the Mali hotel terror attack Friday, according to China's official Xinhua news agency. 



UPDATE: 2:55 p.m. EST -- Four German nationals survived Friday's deadly hotel siege in Mali that was staged by an apparent terrorist group, according to the German foreign minister. "Today's terrorist attack makes clear again that there's still a long way to go before Mali is stabilized and that Islamic terrorism in the region hasn't been defeated yet," Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, the Associated Press reported.

Six Americans were among other foreign nationals who were evacuated safely from the hotel in the Mali capital city of Bamako.

UPDATE: 12:55 p.m. EST -- The United Nations secretary-general issued a statement Friday afternoon condemning the apparent terrorist attack in Mali that left at least 27 people dead, calling it a "horrific" act and expressing his "sincere condolences to the government of Mali and the bereaved families."

Ban Ki-moon's full statement follows below:

The Secretary-General condemns the horrific terrorist attack at the Radisson hotel in Bamako which killed an unknown number of civilians and injured many more.  He expresses his sincere condolences to the Government of Mali and the bereaved families and wishes a speedy recovery to the wounded victims of this attack. The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has been assisting the Malian authorities in the handling of this crisis.

The Secretary-General notes with concern that these attacks are taking place at a time when the peace process is making good progress and the signatory groups to the Agreement on peace and reconciliation in Mali, in particular the Coordination des Mouvements de l'Azawad and the Plateforme, were in Bamako to attend the sixth meeting of the Comité de suivi de l'Accord (CSA) with the Malian Government and international partners.

The Secretary-General deplores any attempt to derail the implementation of the Agreement. He expresses his full support to the Malian authorities in their fight against terrorist and extremist groups. He welcomes the statements of the signatory parties to the Agreement that they remain committed to its implementation.  He also reiterates the commitment of the United Nations, through MINUSMA, to support the Malian Government and the parties to the Agreement at this critical juncture in the peace process.

rts851b Where the Mali hotel attack took place. Photo: Reuters

UPDATE: 12:05 p.m. EST -- Gunmen were still reportedly in the Mali hotel's upper floors, and local law enforcement was attempting to find and apprehend them. All of the Americans involved in the hostage situation -- 22 military servicemen and civilians -- survived the attack without sustaining any injuries, Reuters reported.

UPDATE: 11:17 a.m. EST -- U.N. peacekeepers present at the Mali hotel raided by militants Friday reportedly saw 27 bodies, according to Reuters. A search of the hotel continues after an hourslong hostage crisis has reportedly come to an end.

All of the hostages are now safe and outside the hotel.



UPDATE: 11:00 a.m. EST -- There are no more hostages being held at the hotel, according to Agence France-Presse. 

Two gunmen have reportedly been killed in the siege, the Malian military said Friday.





UPDATE: 10:13 a.m. EST -- An al Qaeda-affiliated African militant group has claimed responsibility for the ongoing attack, Reuters reported, according to the Guardian. Al-Mourabitoun, a group based in northern Mali, posted a message on Twitter saying its fighters were behind the attack on a hotel in Mali's capital of Bamako. 

The claim of responsibility cannot be independently verified.

UPDATE: 9:43 a.m. EST -- French special forces have arrived at the hotel, Agence France-Presse reported, citing the French defense ministry. A U.S. military spokesman said at least six Americans who were being held have been freed, the Guardian reported.


Original story:

Heavy gunfire marked the scene at a hotel in the West African nation Mali where some 130 hostages are being held, according to reports Friday morning. Gunmen stormed the tourist-friendly Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, the country's capital and largest city, and at least three people have been killed.



Security forces began a counterassault on the hotel earlier Friday. The situation began Friday morning when two or three attackers stormed the hotel, firing guns and taking hostages, according to officials.

Mali Army Malian troops take position near the Radisson Blu Hotel in the capital Bamako, Nov. 20, 2015. Photo: Habibou Kouyate/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. special forces were assisting the hostage situation, a military spokesperson said, CNN reported. "U.S. forces have helped move civilians to secured locations as Malian forces clear the hotel of hostile gunmen," said Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo, a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command.

A number of extremist Islamic militant groups are active in West Africa.

Suman Varandani contributed reporting for this story.