20/11/2015 World News Today


20/11/2015

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


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This is BBC World News Today. The headlines:

:00:00.:00:08.

Officials in Mali say no more hostages are inside after a special

:00:09.:00:11.

forces operation against the Islamist gunmen stormed the hotel.

:00:12.:00:16.

Forces are going from room to room to find the gunmen.

:00:17.:00:19.

They are holed up the upper floors of the building.

:00:20.:00:23.

As Paris mourns its dead a week on, police confirm

:00:24.:00:26.

a third body was found in the flat that was raided after the attacks.

:00:27.:00:32.

And European Union ministers agree to strengthen

:00:33.:00:34.

the EU's external borders, with tighter checks on all passengers

:00:35.:00:37.

Mali officials say suspected gunmen who stormed a hotel in the capital,

:00:38.:00:58.

It's thought at least 18 people have been killed,

:00:59.:01:03.

but UN peacekeepers are saying that they have seen 27 bodies.

:01:04.:01:07.

We have not been able to confirm those reports.

:01:08.:01:10.

Special forces raided the Radisson Blu

:01:11.:01:11.

after up to ten gunmen stormed the building, firing automatic weapons

:01:12.:01:15.

Initially, the gunmen seized up to 170 people.

:01:16.:01:21.

The US-owned hotel is popular with foreign businesses

:01:22.:01:24.

A group affiliated to al-Qaeda says it's behind the attack.

:01:25.:01:31.

Our diplomatic correspondent James Robbins has the latest.

:01:32.:01:35.

Combined forces from Mali, the United Nations, France and some

:01:36.:01:39.

US special forces moved in on the hotel as soon as it was clear.

:01:40.:01:44.

Gunmen with grenades had shot their way in and taken hostages.

:01:45.:01:49.

The license plate was that of a diplomatic car.

:01:50.:01:56.

That is why they didn't check them out.

:01:57.:02:00.

When security forces got inside the hotel, they immediately

:02:01.:02:06.

I heard gunshots very early in the morning.

:02:07.:02:16.

I thought it was firecrackers and did not realise it was

:02:17.:02:19.

a hostage situation. Thank God we are safe.

:02:20.:02:21.

The soldiers were very professional. They took good care of us.

:02:22.:02:28.

I tried something, but then the soldier said, "Stay in the room!"

:02:29.:02:32.

Soon, security forces were bringing out dozens of hotel guests and

:02:33.:02:36.

Some reported the extremists shouting, "Allahu Akbar!"

:02:37.:02:44.

and releasing those who could recite verses from the Koran.

:02:45.:02:50.

The attackers would have known that the luxury hotel,

:02:51.:02:53.

close to the diplomatic quarter of Mali's capital, Bamako,

:02:54.:02:55.

An eyewitness told the BBC it was just before 7am

:02:56.:03:00.

when the attackers arrived in a large car with diplomatic plates.

:03:01.:03:04.

There were apparently up to 13 gunmen.

:03:05.:03:06.

At one point, they held up to 170 hostages.

:03:07.:03:10.

Mali's security forces had responded quickly, working with French elite

:03:11.:03:15.

police units, some UN blue-helmeted soldiers,

:03:16.:03:18.

Soon, there were reports of some hostages escaping,

:03:19.:03:24.

including three Turkish Airlines staff, and of many others being

:03:25.:03:27.

rescued by security forces as they moved through the hotel, floor by

:03:28.:03:30.

floor. In Paris, the French president Francois Hollande made no

:03:31.:03:36.

direct link with the attacks on his capital a week ago, but repeated his

:03:37.:03:40.

conviction that greater force was needed against violent extremism.

:03:41.:03:43.

We see once again that the terrorists want to make

:03:44.:03:51.

their horrific mark everywhere they can, by killing, by murder.

:03:52.:03:56.

So we must be firm and show our solidarity towards

:03:57.:03:58.

In Mali, some survivors were still in shock.

:03:59.:04:06.

It remained unclear if all of the extremists had been found

:04:07.:04:09.

and stopped. James Robbins, BBC News.

:04:10.:04:14.

We spoke a short time ago to Mali-based journalist

:04:15.:04:16.

Francois Rihouay as events were continuing to unfold in the hotel.

:04:17.:04:24.

We have now gone back to him for an update. The situation is looking to

:04:25.:04:35.

have calmed down. It is quite in front of the hotel. Night is

:04:36.:04:42.

falling. The Mali security forces and special forces are now coming,

:04:43.:04:51.

but the last time we spoke, there was a huge panic movement because

:04:52.:04:56.

people aware really on edge. It looks like now the final death toll

:04:57.:05:03.

figure is 18 dead, according to a high security official I just spoke

:05:04.:05:08.

to. Two terrorists were killed during the operation. Two terrorists

:05:09.:05:13.

dead, but we do not know for sure the number of other attackers. What

:05:14.:05:19.

is happening with that? We still have to figure out. The

:05:20.:05:21.

investigation will start and that will be much longer. We will

:05:22.:05:27.

investigate how they could get to this hotel and get this diplomatic

:05:28.:05:35.

card, the black four by four they used to get into the hotel.

:05:36.:05:43.

According to one of the French military sources I spoke to, it was

:05:44.:05:52.

two attackers. There were only two attackers? Yeah according to the

:05:53.:06:00.

people I spoke to. The last attack in Bamako when a restaurant was

:06:01.:06:09.

attacked and killed five people, other people were not directly

:06:10.:06:13.

involved in the attack but where helping and financing, hosting the

:06:14.:06:20.

attackers. Francois, you report from Bamako, you are local to the area.

:06:21.:06:24.

Does it surprise you that something like this has happened? Not that

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surprising, since all Mali authorities have said that since the

:06:39.:06:42.

French intervention in the 20 13th, they have all this said it would be

:06:43.:06:46.

a permanent threat, especially in the capital. The surprising thing

:06:47.:06:56.

tonight is to figure out that it is the main hotel, the one thought to

:06:57.:07:02.

be one of the most safe in the capital that has been attacked. That

:07:03.:07:07.

the attackers could get in so easily... Foreigners who used to

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come, it is frightening. Just a line from the French defence Minister,

:07:20.:07:24.

because he says at this stage, no French nationals were killed in the

:07:25.:07:28.

Mali hotel attacks. But from the French defence minister.

:07:29.:07:31.

Today's attack comes after a string of threats by Islamist

:07:32.:07:33.

groups against the government and western interests in Mali.

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French forces have been stationed there since 2013 when they fought

:07:36.:07:38.

successfully to push back Islamic militants who were controlling large

:07:39.:07:40.

Our security correspondent Frank Gardner has more details.

:07:41.:07:46.

Parts of Mali have been a battle ground for more than four years.

:07:47.:07:50.

The UN's 10,000 peacekeepers there are fully stretched in this

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Their commander wants Europe to do more if terrorism is to be stopped.

:07:55.:08:02.

Mali is important because it has a regional impact

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and it also has a global impact, of course on terrorism and so on.

:08:07.:08:11.

It would be interesting to see a larger European engagement

:08:12.:08:15.

It was swift military intervention by front that stopped most of Mali

:08:16.:08:26.

Jihadists like these have been able to move across regional borders

:08:27.:08:34.

It all began with the collapse of Libya in 2011 and the fall

:08:35.:08:42.

Weapons and insurgents flooded into the Sahara.

:08:43.:08:47.

In Mali, Islamist rebels took over most of the north of the country

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French forces pushed them back but pockets of rebels and jihadists

:08:52.:08:57.

In nearby Nigeria, the jihadist group Boko Haram has

:08:58.:09:06.

wreaked havoc, killing more people last year than Islamic State did.

:09:07.:09:13.

And in Algeria, where Western workers were killed recently in a

:09:14.:09:17.

hostage siege, remnants of Al-Qaeda survived in the mountains.

:09:18.:09:21.

Further south, experts blame poor governance.

:09:22.:09:24.

I think it is the same story all over Africa.

:09:25.:09:28.

They are able to grow because, in most of the African states, the

:09:29.:09:31.

There are thousands of young people who are unemployed and can be easily

:09:32.:09:36.

Mali will need more than military intervention to stop terrorism.

:09:37.:09:45.

It needs secure borders, better governance and a stable

:09:46.:09:49.

economy if more young men are not to be drawn into the murderous ideology

:09:50.:09:52.

The Carlson Rezidor hotel group, which owns and operates the Radisson

:09:53.:10:02.

Blu Hotel in Bamako, has set up an emergency family information number.

:10:03.:10:07.

It's based in France. The number to call is:

:10:08.:10:26.

Stay up to date with the latest news out of Mali via the BBC live page.

:10:27.:10:39.

Their update their very regularly coming from various sources as well

:10:40.:10:46.

as testimony and interviews. Just head to the BBC website.

:10:47.:11:00.

We turn now to what happened in Mali today to what happened in Paris one

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week ago. Let me shortly be seen at Place de la Republique, where people

:11:09.:11:12.

are holding flowers and candles. People coming out in force as part

:11:13.:11:20.

of a display of defiance as the time of 9:20pm local time approaches.

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That was the time those first terrible attacks happened one week

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ago exactly. People trying to show they are not afraid. They are coming

:11:30.:11:33.

onto the street and making sure their voices are heard. It is one

:11:34.:11:50.

week since the terrible things we saw. Inevitably, people are turning

:11:51.:11:54.

their minds back to where they wear at this time last week. Some of them

:11:55.:11:58.

were already inside the Stade de France Stadium to watch the national

:11:59.:12:02.

team. Some were heading to bars and restaurants in this area. Some to

:12:03.:12:10.

have a meal and meet friends. Some thought they were lucky enough to

:12:11.:12:14.

have a ticket here at the batter clan to see the Californian band

:12:15.:12:20.

Eagles Of Death Metal. In the darkest corners of their minds, they

:12:21.:12:24.

could not have imagined what would unfold over the course of the next

:12:25.:12:29.

four hours. Extraordinary cruelty and barbarity. Eight, nine, possibly

:12:30.:12:35.

ten gunmen on the loose in Paris. We have been reporting it through the

:12:36.:12:39.

course of the week how that has affected the city. Today, the death

:12:40.:12:44.

toll went up to 130. One more person has died and still 90 people in

:12:45.:12:50.

intensive care. Some 200 people injured, lives wrecked and destroyed

:12:51.:12:58.

by the senselessness of what we saw. Behind me, a steady stream of people

:12:59.:13:01.

filtering past the batter clan. Thousands of bouquets being laid all

:13:02.:13:07.

along these railings. -- filtering past the batter clan theatre. Left

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by friends and family and ordinary members of the public. Different

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flags demonstrating the different nations and nationalities of those

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who have come to pay their respects. Today has largely been about the

:13:25.:13:29.

politics, because the interior minister Bernard Cazenove has been

:13:30.:13:34.

to meet his colleagues in Brussels. They are talking about the need for

:13:35.:13:40.

tighter controls at the borders of the 26th-country Schengen zone. They

:13:41.:13:44.

decided those controls will be stiffened. Anyone coming into the

:13:45.:13:48.

Schengen zone, whether or not they hold an EU passport, will be checked

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and vetted properly and cross checked against the list of names

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that they hold. There will also be tighter checks on the borders in

:13:57.:14:00.

France in line with the three-month state of emergency which is now in

:14:01.:14:03.

place, approved by the Senate just ate few hours ago. Intelligence

:14:04.:14:10.

agencies talking about greater sharing of information in real-time,

:14:11.:14:13.

so new databases to with that process. Here is our Paris

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correspondence. They queued at Paris' Central Mosque

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today for the simple comfort And no one, no matter how old

:14:31.:14:32.

or how familiar, was exempt. It was a war zone,

:14:33.:14:47.

just like a war zone. Not only by the type of injuries,

:14:48.:14:51.

bullet injuries, ballistic trauma, but also because we had a huge

:14:52.:14:57.

number of patients at the same time. And for different challenges,

:14:58.:15:03.

different measures. The response from France this week,

:15:04.:15:12.

a seven-hour raid In amongst the forces there was

:15:13.:15:15.

Hugo, who told his story to the BBC. When we got to the third floor,

:15:16.:15:22.

we put explosives on the door, but when we detonated them,

:15:23.:15:29.

the door did not totally collapse. We had to put another charge in,

:15:30.:15:33.

but before we could detonate that, Since the attacks here last week,

:15:34.:15:36.

French forces have carried out almost 800 searches

:15:37.:15:42.

and more than 100 arrests, but security on each street corner

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is not the same as feeling safe. For a week,

:15:47.:15:53.

the dead have been remembered here Tonight, they will be

:15:54.:15:55.

honoured with defiance. Well-known artists

:15:56.:15:59.

and musicians have called on Parisians to pack the city's

:16:00.:16:02.

bars and restaurants at 9:20pm, Still forensically going on here in

:16:03.:16:27.

front of the theatre. Not much to see. Frenzied work going on at the

:16:28.:16:34.

apartment in Mali, where that leads took place on Wednesday. In

:16:35.:16:46.

Saint-Denis. We suppose it ring leader, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was in

:16:47.:16:50.

that apartment. We now know that he was filmed within the metro system

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where the black car was dumped on the evening of the attacks.

:16:57.:17:00.

Interesting that he was there at around 10pm, just as the attacks are

:17:01.:17:04.

getting underway here, on the opposite side of the road. We also

:17:05.:17:09.

know that the intelligence agencies were following his cousin, this

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supposedly suicide bomber. She was already under investigation for

:17:17.:17:21.

drugs. It was a drugs investigation. They thought they would go back and

:17:22.:17:26.

see who she was in contact with. Sure enough, on choose day, she was

:17:27.:17:29.

spotted going into this apartment with Abdelhamid Abaaoud. The raid

:17:30.:17:37.

then started several hours later. We are hearing some extraordinary

:17:38.:17:39.

detail from the commandos that went into that apartment.

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What was it like as you approached the flat?

:17:46.:17:48.

When we arrived at the scene on the third floor - it was a

:17:49.:17:57.

four-storey building, we wanted to put some explosives on the front

:17:58.:18:01.

but when we released the chargers, the door did not fully open.

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So we had to put another charge in, but before we could detonate,

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Were they speaking to you, did the shout at you?

:18:12.:18:18.

The assault team, 1.5-2 metres away from the front door,

:18:19.:18:24.

never heard the terrorists speak, but the sharpshooter heard one

:18:25.:18:28.

She pretended that she wanted to give herself up.

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We think it was an excuse to get us to enter the flat

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so that more policemen would die when Horrocks those of automated.

:18:39.:18:47.

-- win her explosives detonated. Extraordinary details coming out of

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that team. The fact that the team tried to conserve their arms. They

:18:59.:19:02.

were there for the duration. They had reinforced the door of that

:19:03.:19:08.

apartment to get in with explosives. I need to tell you, to clear up some

:19:09.:19:13.

confusion, we have been talking about this woman as the suicide

:19:14.:19:18.

bomber. There is some confusion over that this evening. Only forensics

:19:19.:19:21.

were tellers whether she was wearing a suicide vest or indeed blew

:19:22.:19:26.

herself up. There is a theory tonight in the French press that

:19:27.:19:30.

perhaps she was not a suicide bomber and it was the third person, as yet

:19:31.:19:35.

unidentified, that blew themselves up and she either was killed by that

:19:36.:19:41.

explosion by the rounds. Some 5000 rounds that the police fired into

:19:42.:19:45.

the apartment. So still some confusion there. Still a steady

:19:46.:19:50.

stream of people walking up and down the street here and outside the

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batter clan theatre. -- outside the Bataclan theatre. It has been very

:19:59.:20:06.

much the case this week. The state of emergency which has been in place

:20:07.:20:10.

stopped big gatherings of people, but you can see there are still many

:20:11.:20:15.

people gathering at Place de la Republique. These pictures and

:20:16.:20:18.

images will be replicated in different parts of the city this

:20:19.:20:22.

evening as France and Paris remembers, outside the bars and

:20:23.:20:27.

restaurants, outside one of the churches here in Paris and also, I

:20:28.:20:32.

would imagine, at the Stade de France, where those suicide bombers

:20:33.:20:36.

blew themselves up. We will bring you all the news of the evening. We

:20:37.:20:41.

are approaching the time when these attacks started, just after 9pm

:20:42.:20:45.

local time. We will bring new reports from Paris as that time

:20:46.:20:49.

approaches. I will hand you back to the studio now.

:20:50.:20:54.

Let's just go back over what we know so far.

:20:55.:20:56.

The authorities in Mali say more than 130 hostages

:20:57.:20:58.

being held at a luxury hotel in the capital Bamako have now been

:20:59.:21:01.

freed, more than seven hours after an attack by jihadist militants

:21:02.:21:04.

State television in Mali says 18 bodies have

:21:05.:21:09.

There are reports that the gunmen are still in the building,

:21:10.:21:14.

A militant group linked to Al Qaeda, which was behind the deadly siege

:21:15.:21:19.

at an Algerian gas plant two years ago, says it carried out

:21:20.:21:21.

What back this woman is a security analyst in Mali. Thank you for

:21:22.:21:36.

talking to us. You spent time focusing on security risks in places

:21:37.:21:40.

like this. How much does what happened today surprise you, or does

:21:41.:21:45.

it? It does not exactly surprised me. The timing is surprising, but

:21:46.:21:52.

the fact that we were able to reach barnacle, to get into a high high

:21:53.:21:59.

scale attack is not surprising. It is something we have seen them do in

:22:00.:22:03.

the past. A similar modus operandi has been used in other locales and

:22:04.:22:09.

barnacle has not been immune from these kinds of attacks. Given that

:22:10.:22:15.

we have seen this kind of thing in the past, should there have been

:22:16.:22:20.

better security and police? There should have been. I think the fact

:22:21.:22:27.

that there was an ongoing security operation by the security forces for

:22:28.:22:33.

the last month and a half it is a three-month operation, might have

:22:34.:22:38.

taken away some of the people's fears. Or maybe a sense of being

:22:39.:22:43.

secure had come through, but unfortunately, Bamako has always

:22:44.:22:48.

been a target. It has always been very openly a target by militants.

:22:49.:22:54.

Mali has been unstable for years. Operations by such groups have

:22:55.:22:58.

really reached the border areas. The West and the southern areas, much

:22:59.:23:05.

more in the last years. Bamako should have been more secure,

:23:06.:23:11.

particularly this hotel. What do you know about the group claiming the

:23:12.:23:13.

responsibility for the attack? Do they record? They do. The Arran

:23:14.:23:21.

amalgamation of two different groups. The leader is the work very

:23:22.:23:29.

well known worldwide jihadists. They were targeted by a drone attack in

:23:30.:23:35.

Libya a couple of months ago, and successfully, obviously. He is a man

:23:36.:23:42.

that has targeted foreigners before. He is behind the attack that

:23:43.:23:53.

happened in Algeria, in which... We have seen them take responsibility

:23:54.:23:58.

for a lower scale attacks as well. Mine explosions targeting UN

:23:59.:24:04.

personnel to an attack on a restaurant in Bamako last March,

:24:05.:24:07.

actually. The target foreigners as well. You focus on security risks.

:24:08.:24:15.

What does something like this do to the advice that you're giving? It is

:24:16.:24:22.

quite interesting, because they did target a Hotel that in terms of

:24:23.:24:28.

security and even by the UN standards, was suggested by a place

:24:29.:24:33.

that was quite secure. It is difficult to say. In Mali, it is a

:24:34.:24:39.

constant threat. It is an issue that a lot of people must deal with.

:24:40.:24:45.

There will be repercussions and a follow-through from this attack. We

:24:46.:24:51.

are going to the heightened security and an unsettled nation in terms of

:24:52.:24:55.

what security forces were doing, why there was not enough security and

:24:56.:24:58.

are the operations by the French forces as well as the other forces

:24:59.:25:03.

and the UN personnel enough? It will be interesting. At the moment, it

:25:04.:25:10.

has never been a stable place, so in terms of advice for people

:25:11.:25:13.

travelling there, it has always been a higher risk. Briefly, what about

:25:14.:25:19.

the timing of this? Do you think this was connected to what we saw in

:25:20.:25:26.

Paris? I think there is a global terrorist movement towards France

:25:27.:25:29.

just because of its involvement in so many different areas. I think

:25:30.:25:34.

threats against the French in Mali have been going on for many years.

:25:35.:25:40.

Specifically, a couple of days before the Paris attack, there was

:25:41.:25:45.

another militant leader who threatened France and said they

:25:46.:25:49.

would attack French interests in Mali specifically. We have to leave

:25:50.:25:53.

it there. Bat-el Ohayon, thank you. We are right up against the end of

:25:54.:25:57.

our programme. Thank you for being with us. Continuing coverage of the

:25:58.:26:02.

situation in the Mali and Paris on the BBC website.

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