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Mali Authorities Confirm Russian Among Hostages in Sevare Hotel

The government of Mali has reported that a Russian citizen was among the hostages abducted by militants in a local hotel, a diplomatic source from the Russian Embassy said Friday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, gunmen stormed a hotel in the Malian town of Sevare. Seven people, including two attackers, were reportedly killed.

French forces patrol in the desert of Northern Mali along the border with Niger on the outskirts of Asongo, Northern Mali. - Sputnik International
Several Dead in Siege of Mali Hotel Popular With Foreigners
"We were told that a Russian citizen was still being held hostage," the source told RIA Novosti, adding that the hostage is an employee of the Russian airline UTair.

According to the source, the siege of the hotel is ongoing.

On Wednesday, a group of unidentified armed men stormed the representative office of the airline UTair in Bamako, the capital of Mali.

Former French colony Mali has been engulfed in unrest since a 2012 military coup triggered insurgencies of separatist Tuareg tribes in the country's north. The uprising then attracted Islamist groups with links to al-Qaeda.

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