New Delhi says 20 Indians held hostage in Mali hotel siege

AFP , Friday 20 Nov 2015

Twenty Indian nationals are among the hostages being held at the luxury Radisson Blu hotel in Mali's capital Bamako, an Indian foreign ministry spokesman said Friday.

"Our ambassador has confirmed that 20 Indians are held hostage at the hotel but they are alive," Vikas Swarup told AFP.

Gunmen went on a shooting rampage at the hotel on Friday, seizing 170 guests and staff in an ongoing hostage-taking that has left at least three people dead.

The foreign ministry spokesman said on Twitter that the Indian ambassador to Mali was "continuously in touch" with the hostages and monitoring the situation.

The gunmen are believed to be jihadists who entered the hotel compound at around 0700 GMT in a car bearing diplomatic plates, according to security sources.

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