Breaking Live Mali Radisson hotel sieg ( Live updates as gunfire and explosions heard during 'hostage situation')
Terror organisation carried out hotel massacre months ago
The Macina Liberation Front emerged in central Mali recently and has claimed responsibility for the attack in August in Sevare that killed 13 people.
There is growing speculation that MLF represents the new Boko Haram - the Islamist insurgent in Nigeria.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack however.
Boko Haram: The group have carried out many atrocities in Africa
'We can expect blood and tears'
As news of the attack emerged earlier, Chad president Idriss Déby Itno made a statement.
There is a new terrorist attack taking place in Mali at the moment.
Hostages have been taken at the Radisson hotel - a place everybody knows. There are men and women, citizens who are just doing their jobs and have been targeted. I condemn in the strongest possible way this barbaric act which has nothing to do with religion. I reaffirm our unending support for our brother Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (Mali’s president) and all the people of Mali. Nothing is very clear as yet. But we can expect blood and tears.
President Itno is hosting a G5 Sahel summit about security in the region. President Keita arrived in the Chad capital this morning to attend but is cutting short his visit.
'Blood and tears': The Chad president made a statement following reports of the attack
Gunmen 'moving floor by floor' in hotel
Gunmen are moving floor by floor in the hotel, it has been claimed.
Reports indicate that around 20 hostages have been released.
Three have been confirmed dead, but some reports have stated that there are nine fatalities.10:54
Obama has been briefed on terror attack
A White House spokesman has confirmed that US president Barrack Obama has been briefed on the ongoing siege of the Mali hotel.
Malian special forces are at the scene.
It is also understood that French forces are providing intelligence support.
Briefed: Obama is being kept informed on the siege
Terror groups operating in Mali
The siege at the Radisson is the second terror attack to have taken place in the Mali capital this year.
Five people died when a bar-restaurant in Bamako was attacked on March 7, including one French citizen and one Belgian.
Multiple insurgent groups operate in the region.
The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad took over the northern region in 2012 and are fighting for a homeland for Mali’s minority Tuarag community
Ansar Dine is a home-grown movement led by renowned former Tuareg rebel leader Iyad Ag Ghaly aiming to impose Islamic law across Mali
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is a large terrorist organisation mostly comprising Algerian and Saharan communities aiming to spread Islamic law and liberate Malians from French colonial legacy
Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa is a splinter group of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb that aims to spread jihad across the region rather confine itself to the Sahel and Maghreb regions
Alert: Armed soldiers standing next to a pickup truck near the site in Mali's capital Bamako
Africa's richest man confirms he's NOT at the hotel
Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote was rumoured to be in the hotel.
However he has taken to Twitter to confirm matters.
Rumour about me being held hostage is false. I was in Maliyesterday.Thank you for your concern. My prayers with those involved.
Security forces are storming the hotel
Those on the scene are reporting that security forces are storming the hotel.
At this stage three have been confirmed dead.
It is understood that 15 hostages have been released after being able to recite verses of the Koran.
'15 hostages freed from the hotel'
Sources at the scene are saying that 15 hostages have been released.
It is being claimed that among the 170 hostages, those who could recite verses from the Koran were allowed to go free.
Reports indicate that nine have died, however only three are confirmed dead at this stage. Two of them are from Mali, one from France.
'French nationals are in the hotel'
A French presidential source has confirmed that French people are in the hotel.
However no one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, and it is not clear if there is a direct link between today’s attack and last week’s Paris shooting.
It is also being reported than at least seven Chinese hostages are being held.
Confirmed: Sources close to French president Fransois Hollande have confirmed that French nationals are in the hotel
Foreign office: 'Do not travel to Mali'
The British Foreign office has made a statement on the Mali terror attack.
We are in contact with local authorities and urgently seeking further information following reports of an incident at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali.
The Foreign Office has advised against all travel to Mali for some time.
Attack: Bamako in Mali
Mali PM is attending security summit in Chad
Mali’s president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is attending a security summit in Chad.
He arrived in the capital N’Djamena for the G5 Sahel conference, which addresses security in the region.
The other participants are Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger.
The G5 group was established in February 2014 to develop regional co operation in politics and security.
Attack: The hotel is 90% at the moment according to its manager
Hotel moved Air France staff days earlier 'for security'
Gunfire has been reported on the same floor that it is understood Air France staff usually stay at in the hotel.
However a hotel management source is claiming that following the Paris attacks their rooms were moved “for security”.
There is no information to confirm that Air France staff are in the hotel. The hotel is also used by other airlines.
Air France: A security source has spoken about the hotel's security procedures
Spanish embassy warn residents to avoid city
The Spanish embassy in Mali have tweeted this.
It reads: “Explosion and shooting at hotel radisson in Bamako.
“Not you must move around the city.”
Panic: Armed police assemble at the scene
Gunmen 'freed those who could recite Koran'
Security sources are claiming that some hostages were allowed to leave if they could recite verses of the Koran.
170 hostages are said to be in the building. Among them are 30 employees.
It is also claimed that Air France staff may be in the hotel.
Mali terror attack: 170 hostages are at the scene
French soldiers operating in Mali
According to French radio station France info French soldiers taking part in Operation Barkhane and the United Nations’ Minusma taskforce.
Operation Barkhane is a French anti-terror operation which began in August 2014 and involves a 3,000 strong French force.
The operation is based in Chad but works with four other former French colonies: Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger.
Minusma is the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, established by a UN Security Council resolution in 2013. It aims to support political processes in Mali and help stabilise the country.
Hotel paid tribute to Paris victims just days earlier
In the wake of the Paris attack, the Radisson Blu hotel paid tribute to the victims with this tweet.The hotel, its guests and staff are now the latest victims of a terror siege.
Nine are being reported to have died.
Live pictures from the scene
This is the scene near the hotel this morning.
It is said that 10 gunmen are holding 170 people hostage.
Reports claim that nine have died, although that is unconfirmed.
Terror siege: Malian troops take position outside the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako
'Vehicle was used to smash through security barrier'
A vehicle was used to smash through a security barrier at 7am this morning, according to reports.
The hotel is said to be the most secure in the country.
Two security staff were injured in the initial exchanges of gunfire, it has been reported.
'Air France staff often use under-siege hotel'
French newspaper Le Monde is reporting that the hotel is regularly used by Air France staff.
Reports are claiming that staff are staying on the seventh floor, where gunfire was reported.
ISIS gunmen killed 129 during Friday’s Paris attack.KEY EVENT
'Victims are French and Belgian'
Local media are claiming that among the nine reported dead are French and Belgian victims.
At the moment it is reported that nine have died. Those reports however are unconfirmed.
The attack comes seven days after Paris was gripped by terror, killing 129.
Terror: The attack comes seven days after Paris was attacked by ISIS
'At least nine killed'
At least nine people have been killed, according to reports.
170 hostages have been taken, with the hotel being 90% full.
It is understood that 10 gunmen are in the building.
Local area has been shut down
The local area has been shut down, according to those on the ground.
All businesses and schools have been closed.
Ambulances were seen evacuating some wounded people from the area.
'Terrorists spent the night in the hotel'
Reports from local media are claiming that the gunmen spent the night in the hotel.
It is understood that grenades were used by them this morning.
10 gunmen are believed to be inside the building.
Terror attack: 10 gunmen are said to be inside the hotel
'10 gunmen inside hotel'
It is now being reported that 10 gunmen are inside the hotel.
The hotel manager says the hotel has 190 rooms and is 90% full.
Explosions have been heard at the scene, with gunfire on the seventh floor.
In pictures: Inside the under-siege hotel
These are promotional images from the Radisson in Bamako, Mali.
It is claimed to be the most secure hotel in the country.
Reports claim that 170 hostages are inside.
Luxury: The Radisson hotel in Mali's capital Bamako
Mali spies have foiled several terror attacks in recent months
Sources in the Malian capital of Bamako are claiming that they have foiled several terror attacks in recent months.
Those attacks were plotted by the The Macina Liberation Front - whose actions have led them to be described in local media as “a new Boko Haram”.
Boko Haram is another Islamist terror group who have pledged allegiance to ISIS in the past.
Terror alert: A stock image of policemen in Bamako, Mali
Prime minister assembles crisis unit
A crisis unit has been assembled by Mali prime minister Modibo Keita.
It is understood that 170 hostages are being held.
Unconfirmed reports are emerging that five have died.
'An ongoing active shooter operation'
Sources at the scene are describing an “ongoing active shooter operation”.
Reports of gunfire first surfaced though Lt Col Diarran Kone, an adviser with Mali’s defence ministry.
About 1,000 French troops remain in the country after forcing terrorists out in 2012 - however it is not clear if this attack is ideologically linked to last Friday’s terror attack.
Terror attack: The Radisson hotel in Mali's capital Bamako
French-led military forced terrorists out of northern Mali in 2012
Northern Mali was occupied by Islamist fighters, some with links to al Qaeda, for most of 2012.
Although they were driven out by a French-led military operation, sporadic violence has continued.
However this is the first time the capital city of Bamako has seen a suspected terror attack like today’s.
Terror attack: This is the hotel currently under siege
Owner: 'Building has 190 rooms and is 90% full'
The hotel manager has been speaking to the press.
He’s not at the scene, but confirmed that the hotel has 190 rooms and is 90% full at the moment.
140 guests, and about 30 employees are said to be at the scene.
'170 hostages have been taken'
According to initial reports 170 hostages have been taken at the Radisson hotel.
Reports also claim that the attack is being carried out by two gunmen.
Explosions have also been heard at the scene.
'It's all happening on the seventh floor, jihadists are firing in the corridor'
More eyewitness accounts are being shared from those at the scene in Mali.
One description from the scene was reported on Twitter.
It’s all happening on the seventh floor, jihadists are firing in the corridor.
Eyewitness: 'Gunman were shouting Allahu Akbar'
One witness is claiming that the gunmen were heard shouting Allahu Akbar.
Live fire is being reported on the seventh floor.
The attack is said to be the first of its kind in the Mali capital of Bamako.
US embassy issue statement on Twitter
The US embassy have confirmed the hostage situation.
In a statement, the US embassy in Bamako said: “The Embassy is aware of an ongoing active shooter operation at the Radisson Hotel.
“The US embassy staff has been asked to shelter in place. All US citizens should shelter in place.”