Wednesday 21 August 2019

IS claims only two gunmen carried out Mali hotel attack

French troops inside the Radisson Blu hotel after the attack (AP)
French troops inside the Radisson Blu hotel after the attack (AP)
Mali police walk outside one of the entrances to the Radisson Blu hotel's conference centre after the attack by gunmen (AP)
People flee from the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali, after hostages were taken by gunmen (AP)

The Islamic extremist group that said it was behind Friday's assault on a luxury hotel in Mali's capital has issued a new statement identifying the two gunmen.

Mauritanian news site Al-Akhbar, which often receives messages from Malian extremists, said the statement from the Al-Mourabitoun (The Sentinels) group names the gunmen as Abdel Hakim Al-Ansari and Moadh Al-Ansari.

The statement said they were the only two who carried out the attack on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, which claimed 19 lives.

Initial reports from witnesses and officials suggested there could have been as many as 10 gunmen, though the bodies of only two gunmen were recovered from the scene.

Al-Mourabitoun has links to al-Qaida and the group's first statement on Friday described collaboration with al-Qaida's "Sahara Emirate".

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