Russia-al Qaeda war widening
MOSCOW, November 21 (TASS) - Six Russians died in the capture of the hotel in the capital of Mali, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Saturday.
According to the Russian Embassy in Mali, the Russian citizens that were among numerous foreigners taken hostage in the hotel were employees of the Volga-Dnepr airline, she said.
"There are six citizens of our country among the dead, together with thirteen citizens of other states were shot down by militants in the restaurant in the very first moments of the terrorist attack on the hotel," she said.
According to her, the Russian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned "this brutal crime aimed at destabilizing the situation in Mali" and expresses condolences to the families and friends of the victims.
The Russian embassy in Mali opened a "hot line" by phone (+ 223) 764-09-056.
On Friday, extremists attacked the Radisson hotel in the capital of Bamako taking hostage 170 people - 140 guests and 30 employees of the hotel. Special units of the armed forces of Mali, with the support of the French security services began to assault the building and pushed the attacking troops to the upper floors, where an intense battle continued. At that time, the armed forces with the assistance from dozens of US militaries withdrew hostages from the hotel. The Al-Mourabitoun group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said that 19 people became victims of the attack and also seven were injured. During the assault two militants were killed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to the President of Mali in connection with the terrorist attack.
The authorities of Russia’s Ulyanovsk region declared November 23 the day of mourning for the employees of the Volga-Dnepr airline who died in the attack in Mali.