One American Among The Dead In Mali Hotel Attack

Photo: Harouna Traore/AP Photo.
A Mali trooper helps a hostage flee to safety after gunmen attacked the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali on Friday.
Update: One American has been confirmed dead in the attack, a State Department official told NBC News. No more information has been released about the American victim. The death toll stands, as of Friday evening, at 19 civilians, one member of Malian security services, and three attackers, according to a UN spokesperson.

The hostage situation is over, The Associated Press is reporting, citing state television in Mali. Roughly 125 guests and 13 employees were still believed to remain inside the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako hours after the attack. An extremist group known as the Mourabitounes, which split from al-Qaida's North Africa branch several years ago, has claimed responsibility for the attack, the AP reported.

This story was originally published at 10:11 a.m. on Nov. 20.

Gunmen attacked an upscale Radisson hotel in Mali on Friday, reportedly taking at least 170 hostages.

U.S. forces are helping with the rescue operation underway at the Radisson Blu hotel in the capital city of Bamako, NBC News reported. Multiple reports have cited the hotel group that owns the luxury property as saying 140 guests and some 30 staff were "locked in" following the raid. Some guests were able to flee the hotel as the gunmen rushed in. At least three people have been killed, The Associated Press reported.

A Malian army commander told the AP that 10 armed attackers yelled "Allahu akbar!" — "God is great" in Arabic — before launching an assault with guns and grenades.

At least some of the guests in the hotel are believed to be from France and China.

The raid comes one week after a series of coordinated attacks across Paris left at least 130 people dead. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for those attack.

The identities and affiliation of the gunmen in Mali are not yet known.

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