Gunmen spoke English with a Nigerian accent – Witness

Popular Guinean singer Sekouba "Bambino" Diabate, who was a guest at the hotel, told Le Monde that he heard two of the attackers speaking in English “with a Nigerian accent”.

 

The gunmen who carried out the recent attacks on Mali’s Radisson Blu hotel spoke English with a Nigerian accent, a witness has said.

The attack occurred on Friday, November 20, 2015, in Bamako and left about 21 people dead.

Popular Guinean singer Sekouba "Bambino" Diabate, who was a guest at the hotel, told Le Monde that he heard two of the attackers speaking in English “with a Nigerian accent”.

“From my room on the fourth floor I heard gunfire, very loud and violent. First of all I thought it was petty thieves. But then I heard the power of the shots. It felt like this wasn't just simple pistols. There were shots from military weapons,” Diabate said.

According to him, the gunmen said: “Did you load it? Let's go. I'll go this way you go the other.”

Diabate’s account has led to speculations that Nigerian terrorist sect, Boko Haram might have had a hand in the attacks, according to BBC.

However the attack has been claimed by extremist group, al-Mourabitoun which is loyal to al-Qaeda.

Boko Haram, on the other hand is aligned with the Islamic State (ISIS) hence it’s unlikely that the Nigerian sect participated in the attacks since ISIS and al-Qaeda are rivals.

The Mali attackers had invaded the hotel on Friday morning with shouts of "Allahu Akbar" and opened fire outside before gaining entrance.

They took 170 hostages at first and then eventually released those who were able to recite the Quran. 80 more hostages were freed by Special Forces while several others managed to escape the hotel during the siege.

Nigerian billionaire, Aliko Dangote was rumoured to have been one of the guests at the hotel but he swiftly denied the reports saying that he had been in Mali the previous day and had since left.

Mali is expected to observe three days of mourning for the victims of the attack.

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