Bamako, Aug 8 (IANS) At least 13 people were killed when suspected Islamist militants attacked a hotel used by UN officials in Mali’s central town of Sevare, authorities said on Saturday.
According to the Mali Army, four hostages — two South Africans, one Ukrainian and a Russian — have been freed after being trapped inside the Byblos Hotel since Friday morning, BBC reported.
Unidentified gunmen swept through Sevare on Friday morning on motorbikes, attacking an air force base before taking over the hotel.
The UN peacekeeping force in Mali (Minusma) said it believed a member of its international force was killed in the attack but did not provide further details.
A local resident told the BBC on Friday that it was the first time the town has faced an attack like this.
“Since the beginning of the fighting in Mali, we haven’t experienced such a situation in Sevare.”