Hasn’t been a lot of news from Mali lately, or at least that I’ve seen. Probably just a reflection on my poor ability to pay attention.
Well, there was news last week.
Islamic extremists (that’s the description in the AP article) attacked a hotel in Sevare, taking hostages and battling government troops. A Malian special operations team flew in from Bamako to join the fight and retook the hotel. The rebels held the hotel for about 24 hours.
Casualties reportedly include five Malian soldiers, three hotel staff, and one UN contractor. Three jihadists were killed and seven are reportedly in custody.
That makes 12 fatalities. Four hostages were recovered safely. Some UN staff are reportedly unaccounted for. I do hope and pray they ran into the desert and were just waiting for the shooting to stop.
Reports indicate this hotel was popular with military pilots from Europe. Sevare is in the middle of the country, roughly two-thirds of the way toward Timbuktu from the capital of Bamako. That city is reportedly at the approximate dividing line between jihadist-controlled and government-controlled territory.
Article say there have been a number of other attacks recently but this assault on a hotel is an escalation.
- 8/7 – Wall Street Journal – Gunmen Take Hostages in Mali Hotel, Officials Say
- 8/7 – Associated Press in Wall Street Journal – Nine Killed, For Rescued From Hotel in Mali, Says Official