Armed attack at a hotel in Mali, with hostages and deads

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Suspected Islamist militants are holding at least one foreign hostage. Soldiers have surrounded the hotel. A column of smoke was reported to be rising from the building. Ukraine’s foreign ministry says one of its nationals is being held hostage. Five gunmen have taken three Russian pilots as hostages, other sources said. “We can confirm there are dead and wounded on all sides, and hostages,” Lt Col Diarran Kone said to the media.Soldiers were killed and wounded. Unconfirmed reports revealed that a hostage was executed by terrorists. Two attackers, one strapped with explosives, also died. It is still not over. Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militants have been fighting the army in northern Mali for a number of years.

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