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This is BBC World News Today. The headlines:
Officials in Mali say no more hostages are inside after a special
forces operation against the Islamist gunmen stormed the hotel.
Forces are going from room to room to find the gunmen.
They are holed up the upper floors of the building.
As Paris mourns its dead a week on, police confirm
a third body was found in the flat that was raided after the attacks.
And European Union ministers agree to strengthen
the EU's external borders, with tighter checks on all passengers
Mali officials say suspected gunmen who stormed a hotel in the capital,
It's thought at least 18 people have been killed,
but UN peacekeepers are saying that they have seen 27 bodies.
We have not been able to confirm those reports.
Special forces raided the Radisson Blu
after up to ten gunmen stormed the building, firing automatic weapons
Initially, the gunmen seized up to 170 people.
The US-owned hotel is popular with foreign businesses
A group affiliated to al-Qaeda says it's behind the attack.
Our diplomatic correspondent James Robbins has the latest.
Combined forces from Mali, the United Nations, France and some
US special forces moved in on the hotel as soon as it was clear.
Gunmen with grenades had shot their way in and taken hostages.
The license plate was that of a diplomatic car.
That is why they didn't check them out.
When security forces got inside the hotel, they immediately
I heard gunshots very early in the morning.
I thought it was firecrackers and did not realise it was
a hostage situation. Thank God we are safe.
The soldiers were very professional. They took good care of us.
I tried something, but then the soldier said, "Stay in the room!"
Soon, security forces were bringing out dozens of hotel guests and
Some reported the extremists shouting, "Allahu Akbar!"
and releasing those who could recite verses from the Koran.
The attackers would have known that the luxury hotel,
close to the diplomatic quarter of Mali's capital, Bamako,
An eyewitness told the BBC it was just before 7am
when the attackers arrived in a large car with diplomatic plates.
There were apparently up to 13 gunmen.
At one point, they held up to 170 hostages.
Mali's security forces had responded quickly, working with French elite
police units, some UN blue-helmeted soldiers,
Soon, there were reports of some hostages escaping,
including three Turkish Airlines staff, and of many others being
rescued by security forces as they moved through the hotel, floor by
floor. In Paris, the French president Francois Hollande made no
direct link with the attacks on his capital a week ago, but repeated his
conviction that greater force was needed against violent extremism.
We see once again that the terrorists want to make
their horrific mark everywhere they can, by killing, by murder.
So we must be firm and show our solidarity towards
In Mali, some survivors were still in shock.
It remained unclear if all of the extremists had been found
and stopped. James Robbins, BBC News.
We spoke a short time ago to Mali-based journalist
Francois Rihouay as events were continuing to unfold in the hotel.
We have now gone back to him for an update. The situation is looking to
have calmed down. It is quite in front of the hotel. Night is
falling. The Mali security forces and special forces are now coming,
but the last time we spoke, there was a huge panic movement because
people aware really on edge. It looks like now the final death toll
figure is 18 dead, according to a high security official I just spoke
to. Two terrorists were killed during the operation. Two terrorists
dead, but we do not know for sure the number of other attackers. What
is happening with that? We still have to figure out. The
investigation will start and that will be much longer. We will
investigate how they could get to this hotel and get this diplomatic
card, the black four by four they used to get into the hotel.
According to one of the French military sources I spoke to, it was
two attackers. There were only two attackers? Yeah according to the
people I spoke to. The last attack in Bamako when a restaurant was
attacked and killed five people, other people were not directly
involved in the attack but where helping and financing, hosting the
attackers. Francois, you report from Bamako, you are local to the area.
Does it surprise you that something like this has happened? Not that
surprising, since all Mali authorities have said that since the
French intervention in the 20 13th, they have all this said it would be
a permanent threat, especially in the capital. The surprising thing
tonight is to figure out that it is the main hotel, the one thought to
be one of the most safe in the capital that has been attacked. That
the attackers could get in so easily... Foreigners who used to
come, it is frightening. Just a line from the French defence Minister,
because he says at this stage, no French nationals were killed in the
Mali hotel attacks. But from the French defence minister.
Today's attack comes after a string of threats by Islamist
groups against the government and western interests in Mali.
French forces have been stationed there since 2013 when they fought
successfully to push back Islamic militants who were controlling large
Our security correspondent Frank Gardner has more details.
Parts of Mali have been a battle ground for more than four years.
The UN's 10,000 peacekeepers there are fully stretched in this
Their commander wants Europe to do more if terrorism is to be stopped.
Mali is important because it has a regional impact
and it also has a global impact, of course on terrorism and so on.
It would be interesting to see a larger European engagement
It was swift military intervention by front that stopped most of Mali
Jihadists like these have been able to move across regional borders
It all began with the collapse of Libya in 2011 and the fall
Weapons and insurgents flooded into the Sahara.
In Mali, Islamist rebels took over most of the north of the country
French forces pushed them back but pockets of rebels and jihadists
In nearby Nigeria, the jihadist group Boko Haram has
wreaked havoc, killing more people last year than Islamic State did.
And in Algeria, where Western workers were killed recently in a
hostage siege, remnants of Al-Qaeda survived in the mountains.
Further south, experts blame poor governance.
I think it is the same story all over Africa.
They are able to grow because, in most of the African states, the
There are thousands of young people who are unemployed and can be easily
Mali will need more than military intervention to stop terrorism.
It needs secure borders, better governance and a stable
economy if more young men are not to be drawn into the murderous ideology
The Carlson Rezidor hotel group, which owns and operates the Radisson
Blu Hotel in Bamako, has set up an emergency family information number.
It's based in France. The number to call is:
Stay up to date with the latest news out of Mali via the BBC live page.
Their update their very regularly coming from various sources as well
as testimony and interviews. Just head to the BBC website.
We turn now to what happened in Mali today to what happened in Paris one
week ago. Let me shortly be seen at Place de la Republique, where people
are holding flowers and candles. People coming out in force as part
of a display of defiance as the time of 9:20pm local time approaches.
That was the time those first terrible attacks happened one week
ago exactly. People trying to show they are not afraid. They are coming
onto the street and making sure their voices are heard. It is one
week since the terrible things we saw. Inevitably, people are turning
their minds back to where they wear at this time last week. Some of them
were already inside the Stade de France Stadium to watch the national
team. Some were heading to bars and restaurants in this area. Some to
have a meal and meet friends. Some thought they were lucky enough to
have a ticket here at the batter clan to see the Californian band
Eagles Of Death Metal. In the darkest corners of their minds, they
could not have imagined what would unfold over the course of the next
four hours. Extraordinary cruelty and barbarity. Eight, nine, possibly
ten gunmen on the loose in Paris. We have been reporting it through the
course of the week how that has affected the city. Today, the death
toll went up to 130. One more person has died and still 90 people in
intensive care. Some 200 people injured, lives wrecked and destroyed
by the senselessness of what we saw. Behind me, a steady stream of people
filtering past the batter clan. Thousands of bouquets being laid all
along these railings. -- filtering past the batter clan theatre. Left
by friends and family and ordinary members of the public. Different
flags demonstrating the different nations and nationalities of those
who have come to pay their respects. Today has largely been about the
politics, because the interior minister Bernard Cazenove has been
to meet his colleagues in Brussels. They are talking about the need for
tighter controls at the borders of the 26th-country Schengen zone. They
decided those controls will be stiffened. Anyone coming into the
Schengen zone, whether or not they hold an EU passport, will be checked
and vetted properly and cross checked against the list of names
that they hold. There will also be tighter checks on the borders in
France in line with the three-month state of emergency which is now in
place, approved by the Senate just ate few hours ago. Intelligence
agencies talking about greater sharing of information in real-time,
so new databases to with that process. Here is our Paris
correspondence. They queued at Paris' Central Mosque
today for the simple comfort And no one, no matter how old
or how familiar, was exempt. It was a war zone,
just like a war zone. Not only by the type of injuries,
bullet injuries, ballistic trauma, but also because we had a huge
number of patients at the same time. And for different challenges,
different measures. The response from France this week,
a seven-hour raid In amongst the forces there was
Hugo, who told his story to the BBC. When we got to the third floor,
we put explosives on the door, but when we detonated them,
the door did not totally collapse. We had to put another charge in,
but before we could detonate that, Since the attacks here last week,
French forces have carried out almost 800 searches
and more than 100 arrests, but security on each street corner
is not the same as feeling safe. For a week,
the dead have been remembered here Tonight, they will be
honoured with defiance. Well-known artists
and musicians have called on Parisians to pack the city's
bars and restaurants at 9:20pm, Still forensically going on here in
front of the theatre. Not much to see. Frenzied work going on at the
apartment in Mali, where that leads took place on Wednesday. In
Saint-Denis. We suppose it ring leader, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was in
that apartment. We now know that he was filmed within the metro system
where the black car was dumped on the evening of the attacks.
Interesting that he was there at around 10pm, just as the attacks are
getting underway here, on the opposite side of the road. We also
know that the intelligence agencies were following his cousin, this
supposedly suicide bomber. She was already under investigation for
drugs. It was a drugs investigation. They thought they would go back and
see who she was in contact with. Sure enough, on choose day, she was
spotted going into this apartment with Abdelhamid Abaaoud. The raid
then started several hours later. We are hearing some extraordinary
detail from the commandos that went into that apartment.
What was it like as you approached the flat?
When we arrived at the scene on the third floor - it was a
four-storey building, we wanted to put some explosives on the front
but when we released the chargers, the door did not fully open.
So we had to put another charge in, but before we could detonate,
Were they speaking to you, did the shout at you?
The assault team, 1.5-2 metres away from the front door,
never heard the terrorists speak, but the sharpshooter heard one
She pretended that she wanted to give herself up.
We think it was an excuse to get us to enter the flat
so that more policemen would die when Horrocks those of automated.
-- win her explosives detonated. Extraordinary details coming out of
that team. The fact that the team tried to conserve their arms. They
were there for the duration. They had reinforced the door of that
apartment to get in with explosives. I need to tell you, to clear up some
confusion, we have been talking about this woman as the suicide
bomber. There is some confusion over that this evening. Only forensics
were tellers whether she was wearing a suicide vest or indeed blew
herself up. There is a theory tonight in the French press that
perhaps she was not a suicide bomber and it was the third person, as yet
unidentified, that blew themselves up and she either was killed by that
explosion by the rounds. Some 5000 rounds that the police fired into
the apartment. So still some confusion there. Still a steady
stream of people walking up and down the street here and outside the
batter clan theatre. -- outside the Bataclan theatre. It has been very
much the case this week. The state of emergency which has been in place
stopped big gatherings of people, but you can see there are still many
people gathering at Place de la Republique. These pictures and
images will be replicated in different parts of the city this
evening as France and Paris remembers, outside the bars and
restaurants, outside one of the churches here in Paris and also, I
would imagine, at the Stade de France, where those suicide bombers
blew themselves up. We will bring you all the news of the evening. We
are approaching the time when these attacks started, just after 9pm
local time. We will bring new reports from Paris as that time
approaches. I will hand you back to the studio now.
Let's just go back over what we know so far.
The authorities in Mali say more than 130 hostages
being held at a luxury hotel in the capital Bamako have now been
freed, more than seven hours after an attack by jihadist militants
State television in Mali says 18 bodies have
There are reports that the gunmen are still in the building,
A militant group linked to Al Qaeda, which was behind the deadly siege
at an Algerian gas plant two years ago, says it carried out
What back this woman is a security analyst in Mali. Thank you for
talking to us. You spent time focusing on security risks in places
like this. How much does what happened today surprise you, or does
it? It does not exactly surprised me. The timing is surprising, but
the fact that we were able to reach barnacle, to get into a high high
scale attack is not surprising. It is something we have seen them do in
the past. A similar modus operandi has been used in other locales and
barnacle has not been immune from these kinds of attacks. Given that
we have seen this kind of thing in the past, should there have been
better security and police? There should have been. I think the fact
that there was an ongoing security operation by the security forces for
the last month and a half it is a three-month operation, might have
taken away some of the people's fears. Or maybe a sense of being
secure had come through, but unfortunately, Bamako has always
been a target. It has always been very openly a target by militants.
Mali has been unstable for years. Operations by such groups have
really reached the border areas. The West and the southern areas, much
more in the last years. Bamako should have been more secure,
particularly this hotel. What do you know about the group claiming the
responsibility for the attack? Do they record? They do. The Arran
amalgamation of two different groups. The leader is the work very
well known worldwide jihadists. They were targeted by a drone attack in
Libya a couple of months ago, and successfully, obviously. He is a man
that has targeted foreigners before. He is behind the attack that
happened in Algeria, in which... We have seen them take responsibility
for a lower scale attacks as well. Mine explosions targeting UN
personnel to an attack on a restaurant in Bamako last March,
actually. The target foreigners as well. You focus on security risks.
What does something like this do to the advice that you're giving? It is
quite interesting, because they did target a Hotel that in terms of
security and even by the UN standards, was suggested by a place
that was quite secure. It is difficult to say. In Mali, it is a
constant threat. It is an issue that a lot of people must deal with.
There will be repercussions and a follow-through from this attack. We
are going to the heightened security and an unsettled nation in terms of
what security forces were doing, why there was not enough security and
are the operations by the French forces as well as the other forces
and the UN personnel enough? It will be interesting. At the moment, it
has never been a stable place, so in terms of advice for people
travelling there, it has always been a higher risk. Briefly, what about
the timing of this? Do you think this was connected to what we saw in
Paris? I think there is a global terrorist movement towards France
just because of its involvement in so many different areas. I think
threats against the French in Mali have been going on for many years.
Specifically, a couple of days before the Paris attack, there was
another militant leader who threatened France and said they
would attack French interests in Mali specifically. We have to leave
it there. Bat-el Ohayon, thank you. We are right up against the end of
our programme. Thank you for being with us. Continuing coverage of the
situation in the Mali and Paris on the BBC website.