Six Americans have been recovered from the luxury hotel in Bamako, Mali, where armed Islamist militants took hostages on Friday, U.S. officials said, adding that U.S. special forces were assisting in rescue efforts there.
Six Americans recovered, Obama briefed
Gunmen shouting Islamic slogans attacked the hotel, which is frequented by foreigners, early on Friday morning, taking 170 people hostage.
Representatives for U.S. Africa Command said American military personnel were helping move civilians to safety as Malian forces cleared the hotel in Mali's capital, Bamako.
Six Americans were recovered from the hotel, said Army Colonel Mark Cheadle, a spokesman for the Africa Command
Another U.S. defense official said about 25 American military personnel were in Bamako when Islamist gunmen stormed the building, but there has not been a formal request for U.S. military assistance.
Gunmen shouting Islamic slogans attacked the hotel, which is frequented by foreigners, early on Friday morning, taking 170 people hostage. Dozens of people were reported to have escaped or been freed, but at least three were dead.
The State Department said authorities were aware that Americans might be in the hotel and the U.S. Embassy in Bamako was working to verify information on that.
U.S. President Barack Obama, who is attending a regional summit in Malaysia, has been briefed by his national security adviser on the situation, a White House official said on Friday.
About 1,000 U.S. special forces are deployed across Africa at any given time, but there was no indication that U.S. military personnel were in combat with the hostage takers or clearing out the hotel.
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