Little known fact, but shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ is code for “we hate widows and orphans.”
Armed jihadists have killed at least three people in a deadly shooting rampage and taken 170 hostages at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali.
Automatic weapons fire has been heard on the seventh floor of the 190-room hotel, where it is thought as many as 10 militants have been going floor to floor and taken 140 guests and 30 members of staff hostage.
Witnesses described how the gunmen allowed around 20 hostages to leave safely after they proved they were able to recite verses of the Koran to the militants. US and French Special Forces have reportedly stormed the hotel and have began to clear the building one floor at a time.
No group have claimed responsibility for the hotel attack, which is frequently used by Air France crew, although Al Qaeda affiliated militants have previously carried out attacks in Mali.
Several witnesses have claimed that the gunmen entered through the gates of hotel in a car with a diplomatic number plate before opening fire with AK-47s inside the building.
‘It’s all happening on the seventh floor, jihadists are firing in the corridor,’ a security source said.
Two Malians and one French national have been killed while two workers for Turkish Airlines and 10 Chinese nationals are thought to be among the hostages.
12 members of the Air France crew have been released from the hotel following special forces raid while five other Turkish Airlines employees have managed to escape from the hotel, Turkish officials confirmed.
The Rezidor Hotel Group confirmed it is ‘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,’ the statement said.
‘Our safety and security teams and our corporate team are in constant contact with the local authorities in order to offer any support possible to re-instate safety and security at the hotel,’ it added.
The US embassy in Bamako has urged embassy staff to seek cover from the attack, tweeting that all Americans in Mali should ‘shelter in place’.
Malian Special Forces have been seen outside the hotel and are assessing the situation.
If you’re keeping score at home, this is the 974th consecutive day Islamists have murdered people in the name of their religion.