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Malian government declares nationwide state of emergency

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-11-21 11:42

BAMAKO - The Malian government declared a 10-day nationwide state of emergency Friday evening after at least 27 people were killed in a jihadists' attack at a top hotel in Mali's capital Bamako.

It called three days of mourning for the victims, who included three Chinese, an American and a Belgian.

Malian forces staged a rescue mission to free hostages held by gunmen at the hotel in Bamako, where the gunmen took 170 people hostage for around nine hours.

At least 27 hostages had been killed and there were no more hostages held at Radisson Blu hotel, said security minister Salif Traore, hours after gunmen stormed the hotel and held 170 people hostage, many of them foreigners.

Three Chinese citizens were killed in the hostage-taking incident, the Chinese Embassy confirmed to Xinhua on Friday. Four other Chinese citizens were rescued.

According to Wang Yi, political counselor of the Chinese embassy in Mali, the rescued Chinese are in stable condition.

But security sources said Malian forces were in the process of securing the hotel as gunmen were still holding out inside the seven-storey building.

Security sources said two attackers had been killed, but it remained unknown if the attackers were among the 22.

The rescue operation by Malian special forces received support from MINUSMA, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, U.S. and French troops.

The gunmen entered the hotel, which houses 190 rooms and sheltered 140 people of different nationalities, on a car with diplomatic plate, said Traore.

Some hostages succeeded in escaping by their own means while the majority of them were rescued by the special forces.

Jihadist Al-Murabitoun group based in northern Mali has claimed responsibility for the hotel attack.

The group was also responsible for a shooting attack on a restaurant popular with foreigners in Bamako on March 7 this year, which killed five people and wounded nine others.

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