3 new arrests over deadly Mali hotel siege

2015-08-13 16:49

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bamako - Security forces in Mali have arrested three more suspects over a deadly siege at a hotel in the centre of the country, a security official said on Thursday.

"Three new arrests... were made by our services overnight in the Mopti region," the source told AFP from San, more than 200km south of the central town of Sevare where the assault took place.

The government has already reported the arrest of seven people over Friday's raid in Sevare that led to a hostage drama for almost 24 hours before Malian troops finally stormed the Byblos hotel.

Four foreign employees of the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) were killed, along with a Malian civilian driver, four "terrorists" and four soldiers, according to the government, which blamed the attack on Islamist militants.

The authorities have not said how many jihadists are believed to have taken part in the attack, but investigators found evidence linking them to a new extremist group called the Macina Liberation Front.

The three new suspects all support Malian radical Islamic preacher Amadou Koufa, the security source said.

'The hand of Allah'

Koufa is close to Souleyman Mohamed Kennen, who claimed responsibility for the attack in a brief phone conversation with AFP.

One of the suspects seized overnight was carrying a map of Sevare marked in black at the location of the hotel, the source added.

"The hand of Allah has guided the mujahedeen of Sevare against the enemies of Islam," Kennen said, adding that Koufa had given his "blessing" to the attack.

He also claimed that "muhajedeen" fighters were behind the killing of three Malian soldiers on Monday in the Mopti region near Sevare.

In 2012, Kennen was part of the Malian wing of fighters led by notorious Algerian jihadist chief, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a founder member of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim), who now heads his own group.

Northern Mali was then under the control of jihadist movements linked to al-Qaeda and ethnic Tuareg rebel forces. The main towns in the desert territory were recaptured from the extremists with the help of French and African Union troops in 2013.

Read more on:    mali  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.