A Radisson Blu hotel in the centre of Mali’s capital, Bamako, has come under fire from gunmen, according to reports.
Automatic weapon fire could be heard from outside the 190-room hotel, the AFP news agency reported.
“It’s all happening on the seventh floor, jihadists are firing in the corridor,” a security source told AFP.
The US embassy in Bamako has tweeted that it “is aware of an ongoing active shooter operation at the Radisson Hotel”.
All US citizens were asked “to shelter in place” and “encouraged to contact their families”.
A security source told Reuters: “Apparently it’s an attempt to take hostages. The police are there and are sealing off the area,”
The US-owned hotel is believed to be popular with expats working in Mali.
Suspected Islamist gunmen killed 13 people, including five UN workers, during a hostage siege at a hotel in the central Malian town of Sevare in August.
The Rezidor Hotel Group, which owns the Radisson Blu, said it was aware of “the hostage-taking that is ongoing at the property today”.
“As per our information two persons have locked in 140 guests and 30 employees,” it said.
The company added: “Our safety and security teams and our corporate teams are in constant touch with the local authorities in order to offer any support possible to reinstate safety and security at the hotel.
“At this point we do have any further information and continue to closely monitor the situation.”
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