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Mali Hotel Siege French nationals held in Bamako hotel siege

Separately, a diplomatic source said that Malian special forces were at the scene and that France was providing logistical and intelligence support.

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French nationals held in Bamako hotel siege play

French nationals held in Bamako hotel siege

(Julia Macfarlane)

French nationals are among those held in the siege of a luxury hotel in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, a source close to French President Francois Hollande said.

"We are still awaiting more precise information that's been checked out. French people are present. The president is following the situation closely," the presidential source said.

Separately, a diplomatic source said that Malian special forces were at the scene and that France was providing logistical and intelligence support.

Gunmen shouting Islamic slogans attacked the hotel where many foreigners were staying early Friday morning, taking 170 people hostage, a senior security source and the hotel's operator said.

The diplomatic source spoke of two or three attackers.

The U.S. Embassy tweeted that it was "aware of an ongoing active shooter operation at the Radisson Hotel," and instructed its citizens to stay indoors.

An Islamist group claimed responsibility for the death of five people last March in an attack on a restaurant in Bamako popular with foreigners.

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